Born: 22 December, 1974 – Auckland
Test record: 3 Tests (2004, 2006) – 1 try (4 points)
Tours: 2004 Tri Nations
A versatile back on the New Zealand domestic scene, Taupo product Alex Chan transformed into an intimidating forward to snare a NRL grand final appearance for Parramatta, before making his Test debut for the Kiwis during a stint with Melbourne.
Auckland-born Chan toured Britain with the successful 1993 Junior Kiwis squad and played for Bay of Plenty Stags in the inaugural Lion Red Cup in 1994. After helping Wentworthville Magpies win the 1999 Metropolitan Cup, he featured at fullback for New Zealand Māori against Great Britain.
The 25-year-old Chan linked with fledgling joint venture Northern Eagles in 2000, debuting in an 18-14 loss to Auckland at Brookvale Oval and coming off the bench in two further mid-season defeats. He was snapped up by Parramatta for the following season, and despite making just five regular season appearances, Chan was picked in the front-row for the dominant minor premiers’ qualifying final demolition of the Warriors. Chan subsequently came off the bench in the Eels’ preliminary final win over Brisbane and the devastating grand final loss at the hands of Newcastle.
The ensuing two seasons at Parramatta garnered just 18 appearances, but Chan’s career enjoyed an upswing after joining Melbourne in 2004. Equally suited to the back-row, Chan held down a starting prop spot for the Storm for most of ’04 – despite being suspended three times – and was an interchange in both of the club’s finals outings. He was rewarded with selection in New Zealand’s Tri Nations squad at the end of the year, making his Test debut in the front-row against France and scoring a try off the bench in a 26-24 loss to Great Britain at Hull. Chan also played in the combined Anzacs team that pummelled Cumbria during the tournament.
Another high-tackle ban early in 2005 stifled his progress and earned a $10,000 suspended fine from his club. After featuring in another finals campaign for Melbourne, Chan was a key signing for newly-promoted Super League side Catalans for 2006, playing alongside Kiwis legend Stacey Jones. He made his last Test appearance in a Kiwis side made up predominantly of Super League-based players, who went down 46-14 to Great Britain midway through 2006.
Chan made 86 appearances in three years for the Dragons, including their historic Challenge Cup final loss to St Helens at Wembley in 2007, and their breakthrough Super League finals campaign in 2008. The 33-year-old retired after Catalans’ ’08 finals exit but spent 2009 with the St Clair Comets in the Penrith A-grade competition. Chan later moved into coaching, guiding Wentworthville to a premiership in the 2013 Ron Massey Cup, NSW’s third-tier competition, and the Cook Islands national team in 2015-16.
Chan’s sons, Joe and Tiaki, made their Super League debuts with Catalans in the early-2020s.