Graham Lowe

Rugby League legend, coaching mentor, media commentator


In January 2017 Graham Lowe (and Andrew Chalmers) was confirmed as the new owner of the Bradford rugby league club playing in the UK Super League.

Graham has vast experience in the English scene after coaching Wigan.

Graham Lowe has forged a reputation that transcends his position as a football coach and rugby league icon. From a sport which places a premium on macho image and physical rather than emotional prowess, Graham has moved beyond traditional masculine boundaries to appeal to a broad cross-section of New Zealand society, well outside the game of rugby league.


Graham began his coaching career in New Zealand in the late 1970s before rising to prominence at the helm of Brisbane Norths. He was the Kiwis' national coach from 1983-86 and spent three years at Manly (1990-92) and a season at North Queensland (1996). 

He is admired for his honesty, integrity and loyalty to this country; and he enjoys enormous respect for his achievements as a coach in the toughest rugby league competitions in the world. This latter aspect of Graham's ability has captured the attention of many in the New Zealand business community. They readily recognise the parallels between business and sport, and understand there are many lessons for the corporate world to learn from top sporting endeavour.

New Zealand has seen Graham Lowe develop from a coaching tyro at club level in the suburbs of Auckland, through to the mentor of the national team and then the guiding hand behind several of the most famous rugby league clubs in the world. There remains an element of mystique about Graham's role at this level; yet his reputation as a communicator, team-builder and motivator is now second-to-none in this country.

Many would value the opportunity to learn how a down-to-earth Kiwi, armed with the attributes of energy, dedication and innovation, reached the top in such a competitive world.

In recognition of his contribution to New Zealand, in 1986 Graham was awarded and presented by HM Queen Elizabeth II the Queen’s Service Medal for services to the community of New Zealand. He was also the subject of a This is Your Life documentary in 1993.

In October 1998, with partners the Tainui Maori Trust Board and Sky City, Graham Lowe and Auckand businessman Malcolm Boyle bought the Auckland Warriors, making them the first New Zealand sports team to be owned by private investors. In 2000 their fellow board members controversially dumped Lowe and Boyle.

Graham's personal tribulations have added a further dimension to his remarkable story – and one that has wide appeal. The major health problems Graham has suffered, and the way he has dealt with them, have stamped him as a special individual at a personal and emotional level. This aspect of his life has moved beyond the sporting arena, firmly into the domain of general human interest. Graham has written two autobiographies, namely Lowe and Behold and Dreams Die Hard

Graham returned to New Zealand in 2011 following a stint in Australia as CEO of the Manly Sea Eagles.

Graham incorporates aspects of both personal and professional experiences into his presentations, that reflect the very nature of this man – hard-hitting, down-to-earth, yet compassionate, realistic and results driven. Relevant messages for people involved with people!