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New Zealand Rugby mourns the passing of Tom Lister

All Black 673

New Zealand Rugby     24 Jul 2017     All Black 673

Thomas Norman Lister was born on 27 October 1943 in Ashburton. Having debuted for South Canterbury as a teenager in 1962, Lister made his All Blacks debut in 1968 in Australia, going on to play 26 matches in the black jersey, including eight Tests.

"We are all deeply saddened by the news of Tom Lister's passing," said New Zealand Rugby Chair Brent Impey. 


"Tom Lister was a good rugby man who was passionate about the game, especially his beloved green and blacks, and he made a big contribution. The story of his try in the historic drawn Test between the Lions and All Blacks in 1971 was recounted several times during the recent DHL NZ Lions Series.

He will be warmly remembered by many around New Zealand and overseas, and in particular the South Canterbury and Wellington rugby communities he was part of for a long time. Our thoughts are with his family, friends and former teammates at this sad time."

A powerful and versatile loose forward, who could play on either side of the scrum, Lister made his first class debut in 1962 and went on to play 72 games for South Canterbury between 1962-64 and 1968-74. He also spent three seasons in Wellington, playing 40 games between 1965 and 1967.

His early performances quickly earned Lister national attention. He played four games for the New Zealand Colts in 1964 and was first selected for the Junior All Blacks in 1965, the same year he first had a national trial. Selection for the All Blacks followed in 1968, with a debut against Tasmania in Hobart. He played his first Test in Sydney against the Wallabies. Further matches followed in 1969 and 1970 and in 1971 he was recalled for the final Test against the Lions, scoring a try in the 14-14 draw.

Lister was one of a number of exceptional loose forwards playing the game in the late 1960s and 1970s and was a regular points scorer from that position. He scored 11 tries for the All Blacks, 15 tries for South Canterbury and seven for Wellington.

He remained a keen supporter of the game, continuing to attend All Blacks reunions and supported South Canterbury from the sideline.

New Zealand Rugby retrospectively presented caps to All Blacks who had made their Test debuts between 1946 and 1996. Lister received his All Blacks cap in Dunedin in June 2009.

For more information, view his profile on