New Zealand Rugby today paid tribute to former President and All Blacks selector Lane Penn who passed away on Friday.
The Wairarapa Bush stalwart was a highly respected and well liked rugby figure who made a mark at every level of the game, said New Zealand Rugby acting Chairman Graham Cooney.
“He was a fine ambassador of the game and one of rugby’s true gentlemen,” said Cooney.
“Lane was a great coach and leader. He had that rare gift of knowing exactly how to manage players so they performed to their potential. Those who played under him say he got the best out of teams by inspiring players to believe in themselves and his coaching record certainly bears that out.
“We extend our sympathies to his wife Jill and family. He will be greatly missed by them, the rugby community of Wairarapa Bush and the wider New Zealand rugby family.”
Penn was a stand-out player in his younger days. The Stratford born winger excelled while playing for the New Plymouth Boys High School First XV and made the rare step up to provincial rugby while still at school, earning more than 50 caps for Taranaki.
He took over from Sir Brian Lochore as coach of Wairarapa Bush for four seasons in 1983 and ensured they remained in the first division.
Penn also successfully coached a number of national sides including divisional teams and served as All Blacks Assistant Coach under Alex Wylie. He went on to be an All Blacks selector from 1988 to 1991 and became President of the New Zealand Rugby Union in 2001.
His funeral will be held on Friday at 1pm, at the Grandstand, Memorial Park, Dixon St, Masterton.