Derek James Forbes

Bachelor of Applied Management (Sports Management) (2015)

Sports Ambassador

When Derek James Forbes — better known as “DJ” — retired from playing last year, he brought to an end a career that  has shaped the modern  game of  Sevens. 

New  Zealand  Rugby  CEO  Steve  Tew  notes DJ’s success  in  Sevens  is  without  peer. 

“He has  been  a  consistent  and  dominant  force  on  the  world  stage  for  so  long,  achieving  nearly  every  title and  accolade  during his  playing  career.”

As Tew says: “DJ  is  one  of  the  great  guys  of  rugby.  Dominant  on  the  field  and  respected  off  it. 

“He has been  a  great  ambassador — both  nationally  and  internationally — for  Sevens  and  has  given  a  huge  amount  of  his  time  help  grow  its  profile.”

On his retirement in September last year, Forbes reflected on his lengthy international career, the highlights of which extended well beyond the field.

“I’ve built lifelong friendships with players, coaches and management and got to experience the high of success on the international stage.

“Sevens means you’re on the road a lot. While I got to travel and represent my country, sacrifices were made at home. I want to thank my wife and kids and family and friends for their enormous support, and I am looking forward to being around a lot more.

“Today starts my new life after footy. I’m looking forward to finishing my Masters degree (through Otago Polytechnic’s Capable NZ school), which examines what makes successful coaching from an athlete’s perspective, and my goal is to one day coach a national side.”

DJ’s career includes the following highlights:
> 11 World Rugby Sevens series (512 games on that stage!)
> 153 tries in World Series events
> 2008 International Sevens Player of the Year
> NZ Sevens Player of the Year 2007, 2008 and 2014
> Rugby World Cup Sevens gold medal in 2013
> Commonwealth Games gold medal in 2010 and a silver in 2014