Byron Kelleher

Byron Kelleher

Byron Kelleher
Full name Byron Terrance Kelleher
Date of birth (1976-12-03) 3 December 1976
Place of birth Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand
Height 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)
Weight 95 kg (14 st 13 lb)
School Otago Boys High School
Occupation(s) Professional Rugby Union Footballer
Rugby union career
Playing career
Position Half back
New Zealand No. 983
Professional / senior clubs
Years Club / team Caps (points)
Stade Français
97 (60)
correct as of 16 August 2011.
Provincial/State sides
Years Club / team Caps (points)
Super Rugby
Years Club / team Caps (points)
National team(s)
Years Club / team Caps (points)
1999–2007 New Zealand 57 (40)

Byron Terrance Kelleher (born 3 December 1976 in Dunedin, New Zealand) is a former rugby union scrum-half who last played for Stade Français in the French Top 14 before retiring in 2012 and has played 57 tests for the All Blacks. He went to Otago Boys' High School, and originally played for Otago in the NPC and the Highlanders in the Super 14, moving north in 2004 to play for Waikato and the Chiefs. He is 1.75m tall and weighs 95 kg. He was New Zealand's Super 12 Player of the Year in 1999.

Kelleher had signed a contract to play for Agen in the Top 14 after the 2007 Rugby World Cup;[1] however, the club's relegation to the second-level Rugby Pro D2 after the 2006–07 Top 14 season caused the contract to be cancelled. Kelleher went on to sign with traditional Top 14 powers Toulouse, effective with the end of the Rugby World Cup. He won the "Bouclier de Brennus" (the French Rugby Union Title) in the 2007–08 Top 14 season with Stade Toulousain, and was elected by the Top 14 players as the season's best player.

In 2010, he was selected in the French Barbarians squad to play Tonga on 26 November.

After his sports retirement, he became an international ambassador for Airbus Group, a rugby consultant for Sky Sports, acquired half of the shares of Evangelina, a bar-restaurant in Toulouse, opened a consulting company specialised in French lifestyle and rugby and volunteered for a regional French NGO called "L'Ombre du Baobab" to help children in Sumba island,.[2][3]

Kelleher scoring a try for Toulouse against Biarritz
He is known as an unpredictable and unorthodox halfback, with his speed and strength, sometimes preferring to run with the ball and make line-breaks rather than passing the ball after rucks and mauls.

Personal life

In December 2004, Kelleher met American porn-star Ashley Spalding better known as Kaylani Lei. They reportedly crossed paths in a "hedonism resort" in Jamaica[4] then dated and lived together until they split June 2006.[5] British newspaper The Independent called them "a raunchy Antipodean answer to Posh and Becks",[6] referring to the high-profile relationship of football player David Beckham and his wife ex-Spice Girl Victoria. In 2009, Kelleher was dating Julie Noves, 22-year-old at the time and daughter of Toulouse manager Guy Novès. On 11 September, he was with her while he drove drunk, crashed his car, assaulted another driver and got arrested by the French police. The media thought involving his coach's daughter in a car accident would get him in further troubles.[7]

A close friend of the Prince and Princess of Monaco.,[8] he was one of the guests at the couple's wedding in July 2011.[9] The press suspected he was romantically involved with the Princess and New Zealand beer brand Tui jokingly created billboards referencing to the rumour,.[10][11]

In September 2014, Kelleher got engaged with 28-year-old French-Italian model Lilly de Vellis.[12] The couple settled down in Toulouse where Kelleher started a new business.[13]

Kelleher has been involved in several incidents, charged for drunk driving and assault in October 2009 and arrested again in October 2013 for his drunk driving behaviour.[14]


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External links

  • Official Website
  • Chiefs profile