Born: 10 July, 1941 – Auckland
Test record: 2 Tests (1964-65) – 0 points
Tours: 1965 tour of Great Britain and France
A versatile forward who could also play at stand-off, Auckland’s Graham Mattson played two Tests for New Zealand and toured Britain and France with the 1965 Kiwis.
The Mt Wellington tyro broke into the Auckland team in 1962, featuring in a 46-13 win over Great Britain that year and matches against South Africa and France in subsequent seasons. Mattson joined Point Chevalier in 1964 and earned a call-up in the second-row for the third Test against the touring Frenchmen – a match won 10-2 by the Kiwis at Carlaw Park.
On the move again in 1965 to Ponsonby, Mattson was overlooked for the home series against Australia (though he did play against the visitors for Auckland) but gained a spot for the tour to Britain and France. He scored tries in his first two matches abroad for New Zealand – against Commonwealth XIII and Bradford Northern – and finished the tour with five tries in 15 matches, which included an appearance at lock in the first-Test loss to Great Britain at Station Road.
Mattson was fledgling Papatoetoe Panthers’ head coach in the early-1980s and coached Auckland in 1990 (including a win over Great Britain) following Bob Bailey’s elevation to the Kiwis role. He later coached Tonga at the 1994 Pacific Cup during his tenure as the island nation’s development officer.