Born: 30 May, 1925
Died: 13 July, 2000
Test record: 3 Tests (1954) – 1 try (3 points)
Tours: 1954 World Cup
Auckland halfback Len Eriksen played all three of New Zealand’s matches at the inaugural World Cup.
The Ponsonby playmaker starred in Auckland’s 5-4 upset of Great Britain at the tail-end of the 1954 Lions tour before getting the nod as the Kiwis’ only halfback for the World Cup with Jimmy Haig making himself unavailable.
Eriksen filled the key role in the tournament-opening 22-13 loss to France, scored a try in the 34-15 defeat to Australia and featured again as New Zealand went down 26-6 to Great Britain. The 29-year-old also played in the Kiwis’ post-tournament exhibition match against Australia in Los Angeles.
Though his international career was over, Eriksen later represented Auckland against Great Britain in 1958 and helped Ponsonby to victory over Otahuhu in the maiden ARL grand final later that year.