Born: 10 March, 1988 – Mackay, Australia
Test record: 5 Tests (2012-13) – 2 tries (8 points)
Tours: 2013 World Cup
Queensland-born utility-back Josh Hoffman forewent the opportunity to play State of Origin football to pledge his allegiance to New Zealand, representing the Kiwis in five Tests in 2012-13.
Hailing from Mackay, Hoffman – whose father is a New Zealander and mother is of Torres Strait Islands descent – was a Queensland Under-19s rep and made his NRL for Brisbane in 2008. His big break came two years later, filling the fullback breach left by AFL-bound star Karmichael Hunt in the Broncos line-up and winning the club’s 2010 Player of the Year award.
Touted as a potential future Maroons rep, Hoffman revealed he had chosen to pursue a Kiwis call-up – a childhood dream.
Injuries delayed a possible New Zealand call-up in 2011 but the explosive 24-year-old was selected at fullback for the following season’s Anzac Test at Eden Park and the post-season encounter with Australia in Townsville.
Hoffman retained the black-and-white No.1 jersey for the 2013 Anzac Test, crossing for a try, and for the Kiwis’ World Cup pool games against Samoa (dotting down again) and Papua New Guinea later that year. But he was usurped by Warriors custodian Kevin Locke for the knockout fixtures as the Kiwis powered to the final.
He was a late inclusion in New Zealand’s 2014 Four Nations squad after Dallin Watene-Zelezniak’s injury withdrawal, but Peta Hiku was preferred at fullback throughout the Kiwis’ triumphant campaign.
Hoffman left the Broncos after 109 appearances and represented the Indigenous All Stars in 2015, his first of two seasons with Gold Coast Titans. Versatile enough to play regular first grade at five-eighth, centre and wing as well as fullback, Hoffman’s NRL 189-game NRL career concluded in 2019 after three seasons with Parramatta. He also captained Wentworthville Magpies, the Eels’ NSW Cup feeder team, in their 2019 grand final loss to Newtown.
Hoffman linked with Queensland Cup outfit Townsville Blackhawks in 2020.