WARRINGTON rugby league legend Kevin Tamati has again been recognised for his contribution to sport.

The former Warrington Wolves, Widnes Vikings and New Zealand prop or hooker has been inducted into the Māori Sports Hall of Fame.

Tamati, 64, who also coached at The Wire, Salford, Chorley, Lancashire Lynx and Whitehaven, had already been awarded a place in the NZ Rugby League ‘Legends of League’ back in 1990.

The ex-Warrington rugby league development officer was in good company when he entered the Māori Sports Hall of Fame at the same time as fellow rugby league stars Ruben Wiki and his cousin Howie.

Father-of-three Tamati, who was head coach of the New Zealand Maori Rugby League team in 2006, made 116 appearances for The Wire between 1985 and 1989.

He formed a formidable pack partnership with Les Boyd and Bob Jackson, considered by many to be Warrington's greatest front row of all time.

They were in formation and all scored tries when Warrington beat champions Halifax in the Premiership Trophy Final at Elland Road in Leeds in 1986.

Tamati also won the Lancashire Cup in primrose and blue.

Warrington signed him from Widnes, with whom he had won the Challenge Cup in 1985, and he had enjoyed considerable success in the game much before arriving in the UK in 1982.

He had played for 11 seasons with the Wellington rugby league team, and also gained representative honours with Auckland, New Zealand Māori, Central Districts and the Kiwis – for whom he played 37 times.

Hastings-born Tamati started playing rugby union at school.

He left home and moved to Wellington in 1971, where he got his first taste of rugby league upon joining the Petone Panthers.

Tamati hadn't found the game appealing when watching it on TV but soon developed an enthusiasm for it with the Panthers, going on to gain selection for the Junior Kiwis in 1973.

In 1975 Tamati joined the Upper Hutt Tigers Rugby League Club, with whom he won his first selection for the Kiwis in 1979.

He moved to Randwick ‘Kingfishers’ in 1981, eventually playing 83 matches for the club.

And in 1984 he was probably the only player in the history of the game who played for Northcote ‘Tigers’ on Saturdays in the Auckland competition before flying down to Wellington to play for Randwick ‘Kingfishers’ on Wednesday nights.

That was outside the professional season in England, having joined Widnes in 1982.

After hanging up his boots, he was in charge of Warrington's A team but moved on to lead Salford to the First Division Championship and First Division Premiership in 1994. And as head coach of Lancashire Lynx he won the Second Division League Championship in 1996.

He was a formidable and committed opponent, a workhorse who would put his heart and soul into every tackle and ball carry.

And he had wonderful hands for ball-playing, often bouncing off tackles and slipping a pass for a teammate to cash-in.

He was one month short of his 32nd birthday when he joined The Wire, but he was still at the top of his game and won his 22nd and final Kiwi cap against Great Britain in the drawn third Test at Elland Road three months later.

Tamati continued to live and work in Warrington while coaching other clubs but in 2004 he returned to New Zealand to set up home again back in Hastings, where it all began.