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High-End Experiential Travel in New Zealand

Time with an All Black Legend

Time with an All Black Legend

Not just any All Black.  One of the greats.  Frano Botica is our man.  Of course we can also put together all sorts of hospitality packages, tailored events, special places and a supporting cast of many All Blacks and ex-All Blacks.  While Frano is not exclusive to us (he has a successful public speaking business), we have a close relationship with him.

Frano Michael Botica (born 3 August 1963 in Mangakino, New Zealand) is a former Rugby Union and rugby league player who represented his country at both sports and also played for Croatia in a rugby union world cup qualifying match.

Rugby union

Botica played domestic club rugby union for North Harbour and Llanelli and spent a period in France. Botcia also played rugby league for Wigan Warriors and Castleford Tigers.

Botica appeared for New Zealand Māori (between 1985 and 1989), New Zealand Emerging Players (1985), North Island in the 1986 inter-island match, the national sevens side in eight international tournaments between 1985 and 1988 and for the Anzac XV that played the British Lions in Australia in 1989. He even appeared in the Super 12: once for the Chiefs in 1998.

In the early part of his Rugby Union career he was a rival to Grant Fox for the All Blacks number 10 jersey. Botica was regarded as more a running player whereas Fox was considered a superior kicker and it was his rival who eventually won the selectors favour, forcing Botica to the bench and restricting the number of Union tests he played.

He was a part of the first ever New Zealand sevens team to win a Hong Kong Sevens title.

He is ranked 5th in the top 5 North Harbour legends.

Rugby league

Botica joined the Wigan rugby league club in British league in 1990, where he was a prolific points scorer and the fastest man to reach 1000 points. In 1991 he played for the New Zealand Māori side in his first match of rugby league in New Zealand.[1] Botica played in seven internationals for the New Zealand Kiwis between 1991 and 1993, including an upset win over the Kangaroos in Melbourne. Botica set a new record for most goals in a season for Wigan when he kicked 186 during the 1994–95 Rugby Football League season.[2] He also had a season with the Auckland Warriors in 1995 and the Castleford Tigers in 1996.[3] Despite eventually becoming a league standoff, Botica spent much of his time in the 13-aside code at either wing or fullback.

Return to Union

When rugby union became openly professional Botica returned to the 15-aside code to play for Llanelli in Wales and then in France. And in the late 1990s he even played for Croatia in a World Cup qualifying match. In his late 30's he returned for the North Harbour Rugby Union in New Zealand and played several matches, mainly off the bench.

Later years

In 2009 Botica worked with the New Zealand Warriors as a kicking coach.[4]

Tags: aucklandrugby

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