November 24, 2022
Simon Yates true rugby league leader
Former Kiwis coach Sir Graham Lowe says the late Simon Yates was one of the nicest blokes in rugby league and a true leader.
Mr Yates died in Australia last week aged 86.
He came from a family known for its sporting prowess, with his father Moses playing rugby for North Auckland and his brothers John and Victor making the Kiwis.
Sir Graham. who played with him in the Otahuhu premier side, says Simon Yates probably didn’t make the New Zealand team only because there were so many good front and second rowers at the time.
He was a big man who could offload the ball in a similar manner to the great Queensland and Australia prop Arthur Beetson.
“When he had the ball he played with that sort of offloading skill and he was just fantastic but I think the biggest asset was behind what he could play like, it was his leadership. As I was growing up in the game he would be the first man I noticed I though ‘gee whizz, that’s a true leader,” Sir Graham says.
Simon Yates will be brought back to Te Uri o Hina Marae near Kaitaia tomorrow, with his burial on Monday.