Born: 22 January, 1990 – Rotorua
Test record: 19 Tests (2012-15, 2017) – 4 tries (16 points)
Tours: 2013 World Cup, 2014 Four Nations, 2015 tour of England, 2017 World Cup
Classy Manly and Penrith centre Dean Whare was a Kiwis regular from 2012-17, playing 19 Tests in the black and white jersey.
Rotorua-born Whare moved to Sydney as a 13-year-old, playing junior footy for Arncliffe Scots in the St George area. He played for the Dragons’ NYC team in 2008-09 but was snapped up by Manly, making a three-try NRL debut on the wing midway through 2010.
Biding his time in a lengthy Sea Eagles backline queue, Whare became a regular at centre, wing and fullback in 2012 to earn a New Zealand debut at centre for the post-season Test against Australia, an 18-10 loss in Townsville.
The 23-year-old joined Penrith in 2013 and played every game that season, eventually settling into a role in the centres after starting out as the Panthers’ fullback. He featured in the Anzac Test defeat to the Kangaroos in Canberra and was virtually an automatic pick for the end-of-year World Cup in England.
Whare played five matches at the tournament, scoring two tries in a big pool win over Papua New Guinea and producing a memorable flick pass offload for Roger Tuivasa-Sheck to score a first-half try in the Kiwis’ epic semi-final win over England at Wembley. He was part of the side that went down 34-2 to Australia in the final at Old Trafford.
As well as scoring 12 tries in Penrith’s drive to a preliminary final in 2014, Whare played all five Tests on the Kiwis’ schedule. He crossed for a try in the 30-12 drubbing of the Kangaroos in the Four Nations opener at Suncorp Stadium and featured in the victory over the world champions in the Wellington-hosted final.
Whare’s 2015-16 seasons were ravaged by injuries – played just 14 NRL games across the two campaigns – though he did managed to tour England with a youthful Kiwis outfit at the end of 2015, playing all three Tests.
Fighting back from a long-term knee injury absence in 2017, Whare regained his New Zealand jumper for the last Anzac Test – a 30-12 loss in Canberra – and landed his fourth international try in a 74-6 win over Scotland in Christchurch at the World Cup.
Whare’s admirable Kiwis tenure came to an end via losses to Tonga and Fiji at the same tournament.
After 155 NRL appearances (130 of them for the Panthers), the veteran joined Catalans in 2021 and played in the club’s Super League grand final loss to St Helens. He linked with second division outfit London Broncos in 2023.