Five Quick Questions: Wynne Gray

We grabbed Wynne Gray, author of Rugby – The Afterlife, for our new Five Quick Questions series. Find out what surprised him about the project, which All Blacks he most wants to enjoy a meal with and what’s currently in his reading pile.

What is life like once the final whistle sounds and the payments cease? Rugby — The Afterlife explores how 23 All Blacks have coped with the transition from rugby to ‘normal’ life.  The book represents a range of players, some legends of the game, others who racked up fewer tests, but all provide a candid portrait of life after rugby.



1: What surprised you most when working on this book?

Wynne: How many of the players have pushed into other areas rather than relying simply on their All Black reputation to provide them with employment for the rest of their working days.

2: Which three All Blacks (past or present) would you most want to sit down to dinner with?

Wynne: “It’s hard to stop at three for that list but George Nepia would be at the table alongside David Kirk and Ian Kirkpatrick.”

3: You’ve attended a lot of rugby games, what stands out as the most memorable moment you’ve witnessed?

Wynne: “This is easy. The 1995 Rugby World Cup final in Johannesburg for all the drama leading into the test with the food poisoning then the extraordinary installments during and after the game from the plane flying past, to the tackling bounty on Jonah, Stransky’s dropped goal, the political awakening of the nation and Louis Luyt’s tasteless comments afterwards.”

4: What book are you currently reading?

Wynne: “I’m reading Why Not? – a friend’s story of his extraordinary life and his thirst for adventure even in his last 15 years before he was felled by cancer.”

5: What’s the best book you’ve ever read?

Wynne:  “In recent times I’ve been captivated by two sports books, Andre Agassi’s autobiography Open and A Wayward Genius, the story of Australian spinner Les Fleetwood-Smith by Greg Growden.”

Watch Wynne talk about Rugby – The Afterlife on the TV3’s The Cafe.

Rugby – The Afterlife is on sale now.