Open main menu

James Gopperth (born 29 June 1983) is a New Zealand rugby union player who plays for Wasps in the English Premiership. His position is Fly-half.

Jimmy Gopperth
Birth nameJames Gopperth
Date of birth (1983-06-29) 29 June 1983 (age 36)
Place of birthNew Plymouth, New Zealand
Height1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Weight90 kg (14 st 2 lb) [1]
SchoolNew Plymouth Boys' High School
Rugby union career
Position(s) Fly-half, Inside Centre
Current team Wasps
Amateur team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
Old Boys University ()
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Points)
Newcastle Falcons
Correct as of 7 May 2018
Provincial / State sides
Years Team Apps (Points)
North Harbour
Correct as of 12 April 2015L
Super Rugby
Years Team Apps (Points)
Correct as of 12 April 2015
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
2006 Junior All Blacks 2 (47)

Club careerEdit

Gopperth was born in New Plymouth and first played rugby for New Plymouth Boys' High School, before having his first break in the game and playing for the Old Boys University in the Wellington premier competition. Gopperth joined the Wellington Academy post High School in 2001 and after impressive displays for his club Gopperth made his 1st Class debut for Wellington in 2002. Then, in 2003 at the age of 20,Gopperth sign a 1st Team contract with Wellington Lions Gopperth went on to sign for the then Super 12 team Hurricanes 2005.

Gopperth made a good start to his career with the Hurricanes when he made 12 appearances in the 2005 Super 12 season. All of his appearances during that season came from starting the game and he managed to score an impressive 139 points, scoring 3 tries in the process.

Gopperth got a chance to finally show what he could do in the 2005/2006 season, in the newly formed Super 14. He made 7 starts during the season, but made all in all 15 appearances during this season, in which he scored a fairly unimpressive 86, scoring a further 2 tries and racking up 637 minutes throughout.

During the 2006/2007 season Gopperth impressed for his club Wellington, although was unimpressive for his region the Hurricanes. In Super Rugby Gopperth managed to get 66 points in 13 appearances, still nowhere near his opening season tally, but for Wellington in the Air New Zealand Cup he managed to get an impressive 121 points in just 10 games, mostly through the boot finally showing what he could do.

In his final season for the Hurricanes Gopperth still could not reach his true form, only scoring 70 points in 12 games with a single try, but he impressed again in the Air New Zealand Cup where he scored an overall haul of 147 points in 12 games.

In 2008, Gopperth joined North Harbour and region Blues. During the 2008/2009 season Gopperth only managed to get 11 games and only starting 9 of them, but still managing to score an impressive 101 points with 4 tries included. Then, Gopperth managed to rack up 90 points in 10 games for North Harbour in the Air New Zealand Cup, where he added two tries to his tally.

In 2009, only a season after joining the Blues, Gopperth joined Newcastle Falcons on a three-year deal replacing World Cup winner Jonny Wilkinson. In his first season Gopperth made 22 appearances, scoring 2 tries and a massive haul of 219 points - making him the league's top scorer. Gopperth, made an appearance for Newcastle Falcons in the Anglo-Welsh Cup, not scoring any points. Gopperth also ended the season as the top points scorer in the Amlin Challenge Cup scoring an impressive 74 points in 7 appearances.

In the 2010/2011 season Gopperth again finished top scorer in the Premiership.

In March 2013 Gopperth was linked with a move to Leinster to compete with Ian Madigan for the starting number ten position being vacated by Johnny Sexton's proposed move to Racing Metro in France.[2] On 29 March 2013, Leinster confirmed that Gopperth had signed for the Irish province.[3] In December 2014, it was speculated the Ballinteer native would return to the English Premiership at the end of the season.[4]

In January 2015 Gopperth signed to Wasps[5]

During the 2016/17 season Gopperth won an accolade of awards, including three player of the year awards. He was named the Aviva Premiership player of the year, RPA Players' player of the year and Wasps' player of the year. He also won the Gilbert golden boot for his 292 points scored during the same season, 102 points more than the next highest scorer, along with being named in the Aviva Premiership Dream Team and winning the Citezen Try of the try Season award for his try against Northampton Saints in round four. Whilst at 33 years 333 days he became the oldest try-scorer in a Premiership final.[6]

International careerEdit

Gopperth has never played for his national team, the All Blacks, but has made two appearances for the second string team the Junior All Blacks. His appearances were during the Pacific Nations Cup, which the Junior All Blacks won both Tests vs Samoa and Tonga. Gopperth scored an impressive 26 and 21 points respectively, for a total of 47 points in two games that included 3 try's and the rest of his points coming from his outstanding goal kicking.


  1. ^ "Aviva Premiership Rugby -Newcastle Falcons". web page. Premier Rugby. Archived from the original on 2 February 2012. Retrieved 17 September 2011. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 29 October 2013. Retrieved 4 March 2013. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Jimmy Gopperth: Wasps utility back wins coveted Premiership award". BBC Sport. 17 May 2017. Retrieved 18 May 2017.

External linksEdit