Peter Thorburn was an All Black selector and coached at the international level, but nurturing talented players on Auckland's North Shore remains one of the proudest achievements of his rugby coaching career. Thorburn said the accolade came as a shock.
"You don't really look for these things," he said. "I felt chuffed about it but you don't do what you do to get these sort of accolades. I suppose I was just surprised and quite pleased."
Thorburn was the inaugural coach of North Harbour when the union formed in 1985 as a breakaway from Auckland. He also led the New Zealand Sevens team before Gordon Tietjens took over.
Thorburn had two stints as an All Black selector, first in the early 1990s and then between 2000 and 2001.
He coached the United States at the 2007 World Cup and Bristol in the English Premiership between 2002 and 2003, and is renowned for his insatiable appetite for watching rugby.