Michael Niko JonesMichael Niko Jones


Sir Michael Niko Jones, KNZM, was born on April 8, 1965, in Auckland, New Zealand. Standing at 1.85 meters (6 ft 1 in) and weighing 98 kg (216 lb), Jones is celebrated as one of the greatest rugby players of all time. He attended Henderson High School and later graduated from the University of Auckland with three degrees: a Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts, and Bachelor of Planning. Jones is known for his devout Christian beliefs, which influenced his playing career significantly.

Club Career

  • Auckland (1985–1999): 96 caps, 178 points
  • Auckland Blues (1996–1999): 35 caps, 35 points

International Career

Jones had a distinguished international career, playing for both Western Samoa and New Zealand. He earned one cap for Western Samoa in 1986 and went on to earn 55 caps for New Zealand from 1987 to 1998, scoring 56 points.

  • 1986: Debut for Western Samoa
  • 1987: Made international debut for New Zealand, scoring the first try in the inaugural Rugby World Cup and playing a key role in winning the tournament.
  • 1991: Participated in the Rugby World Cup but missed three Sunday games due to religious beliefs.
  • 1995: Missed the World Cup due to religious constraints.
  • 1998: Retired from international rugby after a match against Australia.

Jones’ career was notable for his exceptional skills as an open side flanker, later transitioning to blindside flanker or number eight. Despite injuries, he was consistently selected as a first-choice player when fit.

Coaching Career

Jones transitioned to coaching after his playing career, serving as the national coach of Samoa from 2004 to 2007. He had previously been an assistant coach for Samoa during the 2003 World Cup.

Personal Life

Jones was born and raised in Auckland, New Zealand. He played rugby from a young age and was known for his tackling skills even as a child. Jones turned down a US Basketball Scholarship at 16 to focus on rugby. He married Maliena, and together they have three children. Jones is deeply involved in community service, managing the Village Trust food bank in Avondale, Auckland, since 2002.

Significant Moments

  • 1987: Scored the first try in the Rugby World Cup and helped New Zealand win the title.
  • 1997: Appointed captain of Auckland and the Blues.
  • 2017: Knighted for services to the Pacific community and youth.
  • Statue: A bronze statue depicting his iconic try in the 1987 Rugby World Cup stands outside Eden Park in Auckland.

Awards and Recognition

  • New Zealand 1990 Commemoration Medal
  • Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (1997)
  • International Rugby Hall of Fame (2003)
  • Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (2017)


Jones is remembered as one of the finest players of his generation, often described as the perfect rugby player by his coach John Hart. His impact extends beyond the field, having contributed significantly to his community and serving as a role model for future generations.

By admin