Born: 14 February, 1979 – Auckland
Test record: 6 Tests (2003-04, 2006) – 5 tries (20 points)
Tours: 2004 Tri Nations
Tall, mobile and versatile, Vinnie Anderson was the eldest of three brothers that featured in the NRL, while he debuted for New Zealand in 2003 – a year before younger sibling, Louis.
Anderson was something of a late-bloomer, debuting in first grade for the Warriors as a 23-year-old with six appearances in the outside backs at the end of the 2002 regular season. He entrenched himself in the top flight in 2003, playing 27 games – mostly at centre – and featured in the club’s spirited finals campaign.
The hard-running tyro was rewarded with his first Test jersey at the end of the year and responded with a stunning two-try performance on debut in New Zealand’s shock 30-16 win over Australia at North Harbour. He was left out of the 2004 Anzac Test side but mixed his NRL appearances in the centres with a stint at lock before being chosen in the Kiwis’ Tri Nations squad.
Anderson played five-eighth for the entire campaign – with newcomer Louis at hooker – and scored tries in both Tests against Australia and in one of the clashes against Great Britain as New Zealand missed the final.
The utility joined St Helens in 2005 and made his last appearance for New Zealand the following season in a midyear encounter with Great Britain, with a side made up predominantly of Super League-based Kiwis going down 46-14.
After missing Saints’ 2006 grand final triumph, Anderson linked with Warrington and featured in the club’s 2009-10 Challenge Cup final successes alongside brother Louis. The veteran spent the 2011-12 Super League seasons with Salford then accepted an offer from French Elite One Championship outfit AS Carcassonne, where he stayed until 2016.
A third Anderson brother, Fraser, played 45 NRL games for Brisbane and Cronulla in the mid-2000s.