Born: 30 July, 1970 – Palmerston North
Test record: 6 Tests (1996-97) – 1 try (4 points)
A veritable rugby league giant in the front-row at 196cm and 112kg, Grant Young burst onto the Test scene for New Zealand from the short-lived South Queensland Crushers in 1996.
Born in Palmerston North and raised in Wanganui, Young moved to Queensland as a teenager and came through the ranks with Sunshine Coast club Beerwah Bulldogs. He toiled in Eastern Suburbs Roosters’ lower grades in the early-1990s before representing Australian Residents against New Zealand Residents in 1994 while playing for the Crushers in the Brisbane Rugby League competition.
Young played 14 games in the Crushers’ inaugural 1995 campaign in the premiership before enjoying a breakout ’96 season and earning a place in Frank Endacott’s post-season Kiwis squad. The hulking prop started all five Tests in the series cleansweeps of Papua New Guinea and Great Britain, scoring a try in the second clash with the Kumuls.
Signing with the Warriors for 1997, Young appeared set for a lengthy stay in the New Zealand line-up and retained his starting role for the Anzac Test loss to Super League Australia. But despite Endacott taking over as first-grade coach mid-season, the 26-year-old fell out of favour dramatically at the Warriors and ultimately played just nine games in the top flight before being released.
Young joined London Broncos for the 1998-99 Super League seasons before returning to Queensland, where he had stints with Beerwah Bulldogs and Ipswich Jets.