Born: 4 June, 1943
Test record: 1 Test (1972) – 0 points
Tours: 1972 tour of Australia
Auckland loose forward Richard Bolton played one Test for New Zealand on the 1972 tour of Australia, while he played for and coached New Zealand Māori, and was a valuable, long-serving manager and administrator at national level.
Bolton, then with Mount Albert, was selected for the tour after captaining the Rest of New Zealand against the Kiwis in 1972 and made his Kiwis debut on the short trip in a 26-10 loss to NSW Country in Queanbeyan, before being included in the injury-ravaged visitors’ squad for the second Test. The 29-year-old was a mid-match replacement off the bench for injured stalwart Tony Krielitch.
Bolton missed out on New Zealand’s squad for the World Cup later in 1972, however.
A New Zealand Māori rep against Auckland in 1972, the veteran led the side to the unbeaten capture of the inaugural Pacific Cup in Port Moresby and a narrow loss to Wales on home soil in 1975 (he played a solitary season at Northcote that year before returning to Mount Albert).
Bolton, a member of the NZMRL board earlier in the decade, coached New Zealand Māori to Pacific Cup glory in 1986 and ’88, before serving as a trainer for the team at the tournament in ’90. He also had a stint in charge of Waikato in 1987-88.
He was manager of the Howie Tamati-coached Kiwis in 1992-93 then took up a role with the NZRL as National Development Officer, playing an integral role in setting up the National Secondary Schools competition.
Bolton later managed the 2005 Junior Kiwis and served as Auckland Rugby League’s deputy chairman, while he awarded NZRL Life Membership in 2013.