David Kirk now half Australian

The man who held the William Webb Ellis Trophy aloft to celebrate New Zealand's only Rugby World Cup win is now half Australian.

David Kirk took up Australian citizenship at a ceremony yesterday Australia Day. He has lived in Australia for 10 years.

"It just seemed like the right time," he said. He would hold dual New Zealand and Australian citizenship.

"I grew up in New Zealand. My heart, my emotion, my commitment is of course to New Zealand, particularly in rugby of course."

Mr Kirk was born in Wellington, raised in Palmerston North, and later trained as a doctor.

In 1987 he captained the All Blacks to their  World Cup win. Muddied and bloodied, he held up the William Webb Ellis trophy in what has become a well known Kiwi image.

After quitting rugby, Mr Kirk became a Rhodes Scholar and adviser to former prime minister Jim Bolger. He entered the business world and in 2005 became chief executive at Fairfax Media until resigning in December.

His wife and three sons are Australian citizens. "There are a lot of similarities between New Zealanders and Australians. In many ways I think of myself as an Australasian."


The Dominion Post