Ben Herring was a superb openside flanker and turnover specialist whose Hurricanes career was prematurely ended by injury at the start of 2006. He came to the Hurricanes in 2004 via Auckland where he grew up, Otago, where he moved to study for a P.E degree and Southland, where he played two brilliant seasons as a loan player from Dunedin.
Herring made an immediate mark in his first season of first class rugby for Southland, playing the entire season at openside flanker for the Stags and was named Southland Player of the Year. In 2002 Herring scored two memorable NPC tries off kickoffs. The first was an intercept and an unopposed run to the tryline off a Southland kickoff, while the second was against Canterbury in a Ranfurly Shield challenge, when he fielded a Canterbury kickoff and ran 60 metres to score.
This form won him a Super 12 contract with the Highlanders in 2003, earning two caps against South African opposition. A second season at Southland followed, where by the end of 2003 he had scored seven tries in 22 games.
In 2004 he transferred to the Hurricanes and Wellington Lions as a replacement for another former southern openside in the same mould, Kupu Vanisi.
However injury restricted him to just six caps in his debut Hurricanes year, but he returned to play a leading role for both capital sides until the end of 2005.Herring was then forced out of the entire 2006 Super 14 with cartilage damage in his left knee. While the result of general wear and tear and not a single incident, it took Herring months to recover.
He returned to take a full part in the Lions’ first Air New Zealand Cup campaign, playing in the inaugural final against Waikato, before leaving to joining Leicester Tigers in England at the start of 2007.
In April 2009 Herring was forced to retire prematurely after suffering his fourth major concussion of the season whilst playing for Leicester.