Born: 17 January, 1991 – Glen Innes, NSW
Test record: 1 Test (2018) – 0 points
West Coast product Slade Griffin’s rugby league career was curtailed by a shocking run of injuries, forcing him into retirement soon after making his Test debut for New Zealand.
Born in Glen Innes on NSW’s Northern Tablelands, Griffin grew up in Greymouth and played junior football for Cobden-Kohinoor Keas. Snapped up by Melbourne Storm, the versatile forward played 46 NYC games for the club from 2009-11 but a torn ACL ruined his 2012 campaign.
Griffin recovered to make his NRL debut in the opening round of 2013 and played 11 games for the defending premiers, but further ACL tears in 2014 and ’15 stymied his progress. After an NRL absence of more than 1,000 days, the hooker/lock returned for one game in 2016 and earned a regular spot in the Storm’s 17 the following season, celebrating in their grand final triumph.
The 27-year-old joined Newcastle in 2018 and assumed the Knights’ No.9 jersey before receiving a Kiwis call-up for the Test against England in Denver. Griffin came off the bench in the 36-18 loss. But just six days later, he suffered a devastating knee injury playing for the Knights. The initial diagnosis was a nine-to-12-month recovery, but Griffin ultimately hung up the boots during 2019.
Griffin had been working as a trainer and coach at the Knights during his latest rehabilitation and he joined the Warriors in a development role. He was appointed as the Warriors’ NRLW coach during the COVID-ravaged 2020 season but eventually remained in Auckland. Griffin was installed as the Warriors’ coach for their 2023 re-entry to the second-tier NSW Cup.