Frank Eneri Bunce (born
4 February, 1962 in
Auckland, New Zealand) is a New
Zealand rugby union footballer
who played 69 games for the All Blacks,
including 55 tests.
captained the team once in a non-test game. He was an unusual
selection in that he was 30 when he made his All Black debut on
18 April 1992, against
the World XV at Christchurch, an age when most rugby players are nearing
retirement rather than beginning a career with an international
born in Auckland and attended
Mangere College. He played for the
Manukau club, and progressed to Auckland B in 1984 and then
Auckland in 1986, the same year he was selected for the North Island team.
He remained with Auckland until 1990,
but was not a first choice player, although he did trial for the
All Blacks in 1988.
In 1991 he moved to North
. Selected in the Western Samoa
received international attention at the 1991 World Cup
where they impressed crowds on
the way to making the quarter-finals. These performances brought
him to the attention of All Black coach Laurie Mains
who selected him for the All
Blacks in 1992.
Bunce was renowned for his ability to stop opposition attacks with
crunching tackles. Considered by many to be the anchor of the All
strong running and strength when tackled allowed the backs outside
him to shine. He was also a strong attacking player in his own
right, as his 20 test tries
attest. Bunce also
brought experience and a certain wiliness to the All Black
a regular feature of the All Black backline, missing only one game
(against Japan at the 1995 World
Cup) until his last game on 6
December 1997 against England in London.
the close of his career he was 35 years and 305 days old, a ripe
old age for an international rugby player. He was the second-oldest
All Black ever, the oldest back and New Zealand's most capped test
centre-three quarters (outside centre). Bunce also played for New
Zealand at the first Sevens World
in 1993. He has one daughter, named Samantha Bunce, and two
sons, Chance and Jordan Bunce.
the great nephew of Sir Robert Rex, the
premier of Niue.