The nephew of 1970s Kiwis hardman Lyndsay Proctor (Kiwi #507), rangy back-rower Kevin Proctor carved out a long and successful Test career of his own for New Zealand after making his debut in 2012.
Te Kuiti-born Proctor moved to the Gold Coast with his family as a 12-year-old and attended highly-regarded rugby league nursery Palm Beach Currumbin High School. He represented the Australian Schoolboys in 2006-07 but declared his allegiance to his country of birth by turning out for the Junior Kiwis – alongside the likes of Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Alex Glenn and James Tamou – in a 24-22 win over the Junior Kangaroos at the end of ’07.
Proctor was picked up by Melbourne Storm and made three NRL appearances off the bench for the defending premiers in 2008. The 19-year-old also played for New Zealand Māori against the Indigenous Dreamtime team in a curtain-raiser for the Rugby League World Cup opener in Sydney.
An ankle injury stymied Proctor’s progress after he featured in the first seven games of the Storm’s 2009 NRL campaign, but he returned to play in the club’s under-20s grand final victory later that season and forged a permanent spot in the first-grade 17 in 2010.
Another strong year with Melbourne saw Proctor chosen in the Kiwis’ Four Nations touring squad at the end of 2011, though he did not play a match. But the 23-year-old made his Test debut in the second-row in an 18-10 loss to Australia in Townsville two weeks after playing a key role in the Storm’s 2012 grand final triumph.
Retained for the 2013 Anzac Test, Proctor was an unlucky omission from New Zealand’s World Cup squad. But the right-edge workhorse started all five of the Kiwis’ matches in 2014, scoring a maiden try in the 30-12 Four Nations-opening thrashing of the Kangaroos and celebrating in the 26-24 victory over the green-and-golds in the Wellington final.
Proctor extended his Kiwis résumé to 13 consecutive Tests – including the Anzac Test win and all three Tests on the tour of England in 2015 – before eventually being rested for the 2016 Four Nations clash against Scotland. He returned for the loss to Australia in the final a week later.
His 179-game tenure with the Storm ended following their 2016 grand final defeat as he joined the Gold Coast Titans, who immediately installed Proctor as co-captain. But Proctor was stripped of that role and ruled out of World Cup contention after he and Jesse Bromwich were involved in an off-field incident in Canberra after the Kiwis’ 2017 Anzac Test loss.
Proctor regained his place in the New Zealand team for their 2018 post-season schedule, racking up the fourth win of his career over Australia and appearing in all three Tests in England. After featuring in the Māori All Stars’ inaugural fixture against the Indigenous All Stars during the 2019 pre-season, injury kept Proctor out of the Kiwis’ mid-season Test against Tonga. But the veteran returned for the World Cup Nines and earned a recall for the second-Test win over Great Britain in Christchurch at the end of the year.
He represented Māori All Stars again in 2020 as they defeated Indigenous All Stars, before regaining the Titans’ captaincy. But his 250th NRL appearance – just the 14th New Zealand Test player to achieve the milestone – was soured by a controversial send-off and suspension for allegedly biting Kiwis teammate Shaun Johnson. The 31-year-old return in time to play the last two games of the season for the improving Titans.