Raising an All Black

Becoming an All Black might be many young boys’ dream but what about Mum? We talk to Sonja Boric about raising her son, All Black lock Anthony Boric.

Was he always tall?

Anthony was always above average in height. He measured 57cm when he was born and was always taller than most children his age. He had a growth spurt at 14 (he slept and ate a lot!) and then continued growing until his early 20s. Finally he stopped at 2 metres.

Was he a physical child?

We live in Kumeu and have an orchard. Anthony was always very active. He and his brother and cousins spent most of their younger years running around the farm.

Did he eat well as a child?

Definitely. He loved fruit and vegetables. Still does. He went through a stage of not liking meat but that didn’t last long! He was easy to cater for and was not a fussy eater at all. Mind you, I didn’t give him choices.

At what age did he start playing rugby and did you get him special training?

Anthony started playing rugby at 8 for Kumeu. He was chosen in representative teams at 11 and 12 (Walter Dixon and Roller Mills). We were excited when he was picked and his selection was definitely a surprise to us.

He didn’t have any special training, but his ball skills definitely improved with the specialised coaching he received playing in these rep teams.

What aspects of Anthony’s personality do you think helped him become an All Black?

Anthony is intelligent and extremely focused. From a young age he always liked to do his best. He didn’t like to do things unless he could do them well. He used to put a lot of pressure on himself when he was younger and maybe not so confident in his own abilities.

As he got older I think he set himself goals and he had the self-motivation to achieve them.

When did Anthony start to specialise in his sport?

He played rep rugby through the grades. I remember he was extremely disappointed to miss out on being selected for the New Zealand Colts (under-21s). He came home from Wellington very downhearted. We gave him a few days to feel sorry for himself and then told him to snap out of it and prove them wrong and show them he should have been chosen. I think it was the motivation he needed. It was probably the first time he had missed out on something he really wanted.

What other sports did Anthony play?

He played tennis, water polo, athletics and golf.

What other subjects at school was Anthony good at?

He was good at English, maths, stats and calculus. He is currently three-quarters of the way through an engineering degree.

What qualities do you believe are needed to get to the top of your sport?

Self-belief, self-motivation and people who believe in you.

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