Skip to main content

Mark Cooksley

Lock

Bio

The tallest ever All Black at 2.05 metres and 125 kg, 'the Big Rigger', Mark Cooksley, was drafted into the Hurricanes in 1997 to fill the locking role.

In 1997, Cooksley was already an experienced All Black, having made his test debut in the centenary series against the World XV in 1992 aged 21. He went on to play 11 tests up until his last appearance against South Africa in 2001.

Cooksley played 38 times for Counties between 1990-1993 and 75 times for Waikato between 1994-2001. He played for the Chiefs in 1996, before helping the Hurricanes into the semi-finals for the first time under coach Frank Oliver. He returned to the Chiefs in 1998, 2000 and 2001 and played a second season for the Hurricanes in between in 1999. A touch of Maori blood saw him regularly play for New Zealand Maori from 1992 onwards

In 1995 in France Cooksley gained another distinction when he was the first All Black to be shown a yellow card - albeit controversially - Irish referee Gordon Black apparently unaware that the red and yellow card system did not then apply to international rugby.

After rugby, Cooksley returned to work in Hamilton and help out his old club side Fraser Tech in a coaching capacity.

Player profile

Position
Lock
Hurricane
34
Height
205
Weight
125
Date of birth
11-04-71
Province
Counties Manukau
Career
1997-1999

Stats

Provincial Teams
Counties, Waikato
Super Rugby Points
10 (tries)
Test Caps
12 games, 11 tests
All Blacks Career
1992-2001
Appearances
18