Born: 13 October, 1954 – Christchurch
Test record: 3 Tests – 0 points
A prolific try-scoring three-quarter during a decade-long tenure with CRL powerhouse Papanui, Eddie Kerrigan featured on the wing in all three matches of New Zealand’s 1974 series against the touring Great Britain Lions.
Kerrigan faced the Lions four times in the space of two weeks: on Test debut in the Kiwis’ series-opening win at Carlaw Park; for New Zealand Māori in Rotorua three days later; and as the Kiwis they lost the second Test in Christchurch and the decider in Auckland.
The 19-year-old was part of a new-look New Zealand three-quarter line missing stalwarts Roy Christian (retired), John Whittaker (injury) and Phil Orchard (season off), but injuries limited his opportunities to represent his country in subsequent seasons.
Kerrigan broke into the top grade with defending champs Papanui in 1972, scoring a try in the club’s grand final victory that year and crossing for a double in the 1973 decider (both against Marist-Western Suburbs). The 1969 New Zealand Schoolboy rep toured Queensland with the Kiwi Colts in 1973.
A knee injury wiped out his 1975 season but Kerrigan returned in 1976 to rack up a competition record 30 tries as Papanui clinched another premiership. He earned a Kiwi trial in 1978 (following another injury-hampered campaign in 1977) but after Papanui won its seventh grand final in eight seasons, the flyer spent 1979 in Cairns with the title-winning Brothers club.
Kerrigan captain-coached Papanui in 1981 – taking his tally of Canterbury appearances to 24 (scoring 12 tries) that year – and hung up the boots the following season with 115 tries in the premiership to his credit. He returned as the Tigers’ non-playing coach in 1985, leading the club back to the semi-finals.