Former All Blacks head coach Peter Burke has passed away at the age of 90.

Burke was All Blacks coach between 1981 and 1982, with his stint in charge including the infamous 1981 Springbok Tour.

A Taranaki centurion, Burke played 117 matches for the amber and blacks including a successful Ranfurly Shield tenure as captain in 1958.

Burke played 12 matches for the All Blacks, including three Tests, before retiring from playing in 1959.


Turning his attention to coaching, Burke served as a selector and assistant coach of Taranaki, and tasted more Ranfurly Shield success as Taranaki enjoyed their most successful Shield tenure in history under his reign.

Taking over the All Blacks head coaching role from Eric Watson in 1981, Burke's 11 matches in charge of the All Blacks included series wins over the Springboks and the Wallabies.

Burke served as New Zealand Rugby Union President in 1994 and received a New Zealand Order of Merit in 1997 for services to sport.

In 2008 Burke was named a life member of New Zealand Rugby.

"The contribution that Peter gave to our game was immense," said New Zealand Rugby Chairman Brent Impey.

"After a dedicated playing career, Peter continued his involvement for decades to follow as a coach and administrator; our game is better off because of men like Peter.

"Our thoughts are with his family and the Taranaki rugby community at this time," said Impey.