Lane Penn

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Lane Penn
Birth namePaul Lane Penn
Date of birth1939/1940
Place of birthStratford, New Zealand
Date of death (aged 74)
Place of deathMasterton, New Zealand
SchoolNew Plymouth Boys' High School
Rugby union career
Position(s) Wing
Provincial / State sides
Years Team Apps (Points)

Teams coached
Years Team
1983–86 Wairarapa-Bush

Paul Lane Penn (1939/40 – 10 May 2014) was a New Zealand rugby union player, coach and administrator. A wing, Penn played for Taranaki and Wairarapa at provincial level, and later became coach of Wairarapa-Bush. He was an All Black selector from 1988 to 1991, and served as president of the New Zealand Rugby Football Union from 2001 to 2003.


Penn was born in Stratford, New Zealand, and was educated at New Plymouth Boys' High School. He made his debut for Taranaki while still at school, and went on to play more than 50 games for the province — including 10 Ranfurly Shield matches, and internationals against France and Australia — between 1957 and 1963.[1][2] After moving to the Wairarapa, Penn joined the Gladstone club and played 12 games for the provincial side there between 1965 and 1966.[1]

Penn later became coach of the Gladstone senior team, and after taking them to a club championship, succeeded Brian Lochore as coach of Wairarapa-Bush in 1983. He coached the provincial side for four years, during which time they maintained their first-division status, finishing as high as fourth in the 1985 season.[1]

In 1988 Penn was appointed as an All Black selector, once again taking over from Lochore, and served in that role until 1991. During that time Penn coached the New Zealand development team, New Zealand Marist and the New Zealand under-19 side. As a coach of national teams, Penn was undefeated. He also served as an assistant to All Blacks coach Alex Wyllie and was a member of the selection panel which chose John Hart as All Blacks coach.[1]

Penn was elected vice-president of the New Zealand Rugby Football Union in 1999 and succeeded Andy Dalton as president in 2001.[1][3] His two-year term was characterized by his strong advocacy for grassroots and provincial rugby in New Zealand.[4][5]

Outside of rugby, Penn was a farmer at Opaki, near Masterton.[6] He died at Wairarapa Hospital on 10 May 2014, following a stroke suffered while working on the farm two days earlier.[7]


  1. ^ a b c d e Caffell, Gary (12 May 2014). "Rugby leader Lane Penn dies". Wairarapa Times-Age. Retrieved 12 May 2014.
  2. ^ Hills, Murray (31 July 2001). "Penn: sponsored flights end rugby trips from hell". Taranaki Daily News. p. 11.
  3. ^ Holden, Daryl (11 April 2001). "Thomas booted off NZRFU". Southland Times.
  4. ^ "Former All Blacks selector Lane Penn dies". 3News. 12 May 2014. Retrieved 12 May 2014.
  5. ^ Smith, Tony (29 July 2002). "Norton, Penn back special meeting". The Press.
  6. ^ Sharpe, Marty (10 August 2001). "Penn for the All Blacks". Wairarapa Times-Age. Archived from the original on 13 November 2004. Retrieved 12 May 2014.
  7. ^ "Obituary: Lane Penn". Dominion Post. 12 May 2014. Retrieved 12 May 2014.