Rugby legend Frano Botica has played both codes of rugby at the highest level, turning out for the All Blacks, NZ Maori and the Kiwis.
Frano was named New Zealand Player of the Year in 1986 before he caused a stir by moving to UK league club Wigan in 1990. He was a great kicker, appearing in seven internationals for the Kiwis, as well as having a season with the Warriors in 1995. Check out the some of the stats here.
Retiring from rugby in 2001, Frano is now a waka ama enthusiast (outrigger canoe racing). He presently lives in North Auckland.
Frano's family are from Wanganui, where his grandfather settled from Yugoslavia and married a Maori wahine. Frano was born in Mangakino and grew up in a large whanau with his grandfather living in the house.
Many of the Botica family work in the construction industry, traditional to many Dalmatian-Maori.
His Dalmatian background even led to an appearance for Crotia in a World Cup qualifying match in the late 1990s.
In Here To Stay Frano delves deeply into the tight relationship between Dalmatians and Maori in the far North, and discovers that his European ancestors truly followed their own roots into stonemasonry, construction, fishing and wine.