Anton Oliver

Anton Oliver

Anton David Oliver (born 9 September 1975) is a retired New Zealand rugby union player. Previously, he played as a hooker for Marlborough (one of the predecessors to today's Tasman side) and Otago in the National Provincial Championship and Air New Zealand Cup, and spent twelve seasons with the Highlanders in Super Rugby. He earned 59 caps for his country and for a period was All Blacks captain.

Early life

Oliver was born 9 September 1975 in Invercargill and spent the early years of his life in several small towns in the deep south of NZ. When he was seven he moved to Blenheim where he went on to be Head Boy of Marlborough Boys' College in 1993. During this time, Anton made all of the possible New Zealand age group rugby teams – Under17, Under19, Under21, and the NZ Secondary Schools Team – captaining them all.

He initially played at number 8 for the NZ under 17s. The following year he changed positions to hooker and made his provincial debut for Marlborough against Nelson Bays in when he was sixteen. He also represented NZ Secondary schools and 19s in 1993 – captaining both teams. In 1994, he represented NZ Under 19s (again the captain) and NZ Under 21s, and represented the Under 21s for the next two years – captaining the team in his last year.

Anton then went Dunedin in 1994 to study at the University of Otago and ended up spending his next 14 years there. He made his debut for the Otago first team in 1994 and played for Otago