Former NZR chairman Eddie Tonks dies, aged 85

New Zealand Rugby life member and former chairman Eddie Tonks has died, aged 85.

Former NZR chairman Eddie Tonks. Source: Getty

Tonks was NZR’s chairman between 1990 and 1995 and also chaired the International Rugby Board [now World Rugby]. before he was made a life member of NZR in 2004.

Current NZR chairman Brent Impey said Tonks’ contribution to rugby was immeasurable.

“Eddie started on what was then the NZRFU Council in 1986, and played a key role in the organisation of the 1987 Rugby World Cup, which of course was a huge success. Nearly a decade later he helped lay the groundwork for the game to go professional in 1996.

“He was hugely respected in both business and rugby and will be missed. Our thoughts are with his wife Claire and their family.”

Prior to joining the board, Tonks had his own exporting company and had been prominent on the Wellington rugby scene. He was a life member of the Onslow Rugby Club, which later become Western Suburbs.