Now and then: Anthony Boric

Now and then: Anthony Boric

You might have seen him on the sidelines at Eden Park this season. Two metres tall, dressed in suit and tie, providing commentary to SKY Sport and sharing his knowledge of the game.

It’s easy to forget that only two years ago, this same commentator was donning the Blues jersey himself and running on to Eden Park.
Anthony Boric’s professional rugby career started mid university. After graduating from high school, Anthony enrolled at Auckland University to begin a Bachelor of Civil Engineering. Within two years, he was recruited in to the North Harbour NPC (now ITM Cup) team. Give it another year, and he would get the call to join the Blues.
The studies were put on hold and rugby took centre stage for the promising young lock.
“I’d grown up watching the game, I was at the 1996 and 1997 Super 12 finals at Eden Park with my Dad. Then to be called in to the Blues was a pretty exciting moment,” said Anthony.
Before long, Anthony would join All Blacks ranks, earning caps between 2008 and 2011.
And yet, with most rugby careers come injuries, some more serious than others. At the beginning of 2012, Anthony herniated a disc in his neck putting him out of Super Rugby for the remainder of the year. He underwent surgery to replace the disc with a metal one, but it was his confidence on the field that had taken the biggest hit.
“Mentally I was never really the same player,” he said. “I realised how vulnerable I was out on the field, I kept on thinking about the worst case scenarios of doing further damage and ending up in a wheelchair.”
Instead of diving in to each tackle, ruck and scrum, Anthony would reserve himself a little. “When you’re thinking negatively, it’s pretty important to get off the field.”
And he did, leaving the Blues and New Zealand Rugby in 2013 for a two-year contract with the Japanese Mitsubishi Dynaboars. That contract would only last one year, after further neck aggravation forced Anthony’s return back to New Zealand.
“There’s a lot of living to be had after you’ve retired from rugby,” Anthony said about his decision to stop playing and return back to New Zealand.
Anthony turned his attention back to studying and at the end of 2015, after 13 years, it will pay dividends when he graduates with his Bachelor of Civil Engineering.
Anthony is now working as a project manager for Macrennie Construction Company, his first full time job after professional rugby.
“I reckon I did the right thing in giving rugby a crack,” he said. “But it’s good to have something going on behind the scenes while you train because it makes it so much easier once you stop.”
And Anthony’s commentating has kept him in touch with the goings-on at the Blues, noting the younger players who are coming through the ranks.
“We’ve got the biggest talent pool in New Zealand,” he said. “It’s just a matter of time before the Blues turn things around.”