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Auckland rugby union team

Auckland
File:Logo Auckland Rugby Union.svg
Union New Zealand Rugby Union
Founded 1883
Location Auckland, New Zealand
Region Blues
Ground(s) Eden Park
Coach(es) New Zealand Wayne Pivac
League(s) ITM Cup
2012 2nd
Team kit
Official website
www.aucklandrugby.co.nz

Auckland (also referred to as "Auckland Rugby Football Union" or "ARFU") is the top representative rugby union team and the governing body for rugby union in a portion of the Auckland Region of New Zealand. Its colours are navy blue and white in a hooped design. They currently compete in the ITM Cup. Their most recent victory was the 2007 competition. Auckland also acts as a primary feeder to the Blues, who play in the Super Rugby competition.

The union is coached by Wayne Pivac the union also administers all club rugby within the region, including the Gallaher Shield and other senior club rugby. As well, the union is responsible for school rugby.

History

The Auckland Rugby Football Union (ARFU) was officially formed in 1883, when it joined the Canterbury, Wellington and Otago unions in the fledgling New Zealand Rugby Football Union.

Auckland has been the most successful union in New Zealand rugby history, having won a record 16 ITM Cup (and predecessor competition) titles. Auckland also holds the record for the most Ranfurly Shield wins (16), successful defences (148), and longest streak of successful defences (61). All Blacks statistics also reveal the extent of Auckland's influence: of the 1071 players to have worn the national jersey from 1888 to 2008, 133 were born in Auckland, compared to Christchurch (74), Wellington (60) and Dunedin (53).

In 1996, with the advent of professional rugby union, Auckland became the host, and primary feeder, to the Blues, known from 1996-1999 as the Auckland Blues.

Golden eras

There have been many notable eras in the team's history. It went undefeated for six seasons from 1897, and there was a ground breaking run in the early 1920s under Sir Vincent Meredith.

The 1960-63 period, known as the Golden Era, was summed up in The Golden Years written by Don Cameron in 1983. Sir Wilson Whineray, who captained Auckland through those years, describes the period as one of "excitement, drama and fervor that transformed Eden Park into an oasis of magic during the winters of 1960, 1961, 1962 and 1963." There was also a relatively undisturbed spell of success from 1982 through to the 2007 Air New Zealand Cup victory. Auckland won 16 of the 26 Air New Zealand NPC titles available in that time – a period that included 61 Ranfurly Shield defences.

Auckland went undefeated for six seasons from 1897, and there was an undefeated run in the early 1920s under Sir Vincent Meredith. The 1960 to 1963 period, known as the Golden Era, was summed up in The Golden Years written by Don Cameron in 1983. Sir Wilson Whineray, who captained Auckland through those years and the All Blacks in 30 tests from 1957 to 1965, describes the period as one of "excitement, drama and fervor that transformed Eden Park into an oasis of magic during the winters of 1960, 1961, 1962 and 1963." The period from 1982 to 2007 is also regarded as a golden period, with Auckland winning more than half (16 out of 26 ) of all NPC titles and five South Pacific Championship titles during the era and winning the team of the year award at the 1992 Halberg awards.

Ranfurly Shield years

Auckland were the first holders of the Ranfurly Shield in 1902 and have won 153 out of 194 shield matches – the most successful record of any provincial union. Notable periods include from 1905 to 1913, when they defeated 23 successive challenges, 1960 and 1963, when 25 challenges were defeated, 1985 to 1993, when a record 61 were defeated. Auckland most recently held the shield between 2007 and 2008, when 5 challenges were defeated. Players like Andy Haden, Sean Fitzpatrick, John Drake, Olo Brown, Zinzan and Robin Brooke, Gary and Alan Whetton, Michael Jones, Steve McDowell, Grant Fox, Bernie McCahill, Grant Dickson, Mark Carter, Joe Stanley, John Kirwan and Terry Wright were important in Auckland's success in that last period.

With six titles in the 1990s, and four so far in the new century, Auckland's domination of the New Zealand rugby landscape continues. The 2007 team is the first since the 1990 side to remain unbeaten in a season and win the Ranfurly Shield and the provincial championship. Players like Kees Meeuws, Keven Mealamu, Ali Williams, Justin Collins, Xavier Rush, Steve Devine, Brad Mika, Ben Atiga, Doug Howlett, Daniel Braid, Brent Ward and Angus Macdonald have contributed to this success.

Honours

  • NPC/Air New Zealand Cup/ITM Cup (16):

1982, 1984, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1999, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2007

  • South Pacific Championship/Super 6/Super 10 (5):

1986, 1987 (shared with Canterbury), 1988, 1989, 1990

  • Ranfurly Shield (16):

1902-1904 (0), 1905-1913 (23), 1934-1935 (1), 1952 (0), 1959 (2), 1960-1963 (25), 1965 (3), 1971 (1), 1972 (0), 1974-1976 (10), 1979 (6), 1985-1993 (61), 1995-1996 (3), 1996-1997 (6), 2003-2004 (2), 2007-2008 (5)

Club rugby

Among the earliest founding clubs in Auckland were Grafton (1874), Ponsonby (1874) and College Rifles (1897), Marist (1908), University (1888), Grammar (1914) and Suburbs (1918). The premier competition's championship round was renamed the Gallaher Shield in 1922, in memory of Ponsonby, Auckland and New Zealand player Dave Gallaher who captained the 1905 All Blacks, known as The Originals, before retiring after the tour. He became the sole selector to the Auckland team, leading the side to eight successive Ranfurly Shield wins, before he served on the All Blacks selection committee from 1907 to 1914. He then joined the army at a relatively late age, and was killed in the Passchendaele offensive in 1917 aged 43. His Ponsonby side has dominated the Gallaher Shield, winning it 33 times.

Structure

The Auckland Rugby Football Union consists of 20 clubs from the Auckland isthmus. The premier competition runs from March to August and is split into three segments: the Waka Nathan Challenge Cup from March to May (primarily a pre-season tournament), the Alan McEvoy Round-Robin, and the Championship Round (finals series).

  • The Waka Nathan Challenge Cup and Pollard Cup

The Waka Nathan Challenge Cup is contested at the beginning of the season in a knockout style competition. Teams play for the cup and a winners prize of $2500. Winners of the first round progress to the next round of the Waka Nathan Cup, while the losers move to the plate section and compete for the Pollard Cup and a prize of $1000. Round two sees eight teams compete for the Waka Nathan Cup while the losing teams from Round 1 contest the Pollard Cup. From round two Premier Reserve teams will also follow their Premier team. Round three will be the semi finals for both sections. Clubs eliminated will have games organised for them by the ARFU for the following week against other eliminated clubs. The final for both the Waka Nathan and Pollard Cup will be played when the two finalists in each division meet each other in the Alan McEvoy Round Robin.

  • The Alan McEvoy Round-Robin

The 16 teams entered into the Premier Competition play a 15 week round-robin, played on Saturdays. The team with the highest competition points at the end of this round will be awarded the Alan McEvoy Memorial Trophy which commemorates Alan McEvoy an Auckland rep and All Black Trialist who drowned tragically at Baylys Beach in the early 1950s. To determine this, the bonus points system is used. Teams will be seeded 1-16 after this round. The Fred Allen Trophy is also be played for during the round-robin phase. It is similar to the Ranfurly Shield, where it is only up for grabs at home games of the trophy holder. It is not contested in the Championship Round.

  • 'Championship Round

In the Championship Round the sixteen teams are split into the top and bottom eight. It is played over three weeks. The top eight compete for the Gallaher Shield, named after former Auckland and All Blacks player Dave Gallaher, while the bottom eight compete for the Portola Trophy. The first week is a quarter-finals style format where the top seeded team play the bottom seeded team and the second seeded team play the second to last seeded team etc. The four losers from each group of eight go on to play for the Jubilee Trophy (Gallaher Shield Losers) and the President's Cup (Portola Trophy Losers). The next week is semi-finals and the two winners compete for the four trophies mentioned, with the overall champion being the winner of the Gallaher Shield Final.

Affiliated clubs

  • College Rifles RFC
  • East Tamaki RFC
  • Eden RFC
  • Grammar Carlton RFC
  • Manukau Rovers RFC
  • Marist Brothers Old Boys RFC
  • Mt Wellington RFC
  • Otahuhu RFC
  • Pakuranga United RC
  • Papatoetoe RFC
  • Ponsonby RFC
  • Roskill Districts RFC
  • Suburbs RFC
  • Te Papapa Onehunga RFC
  • Teachers Eastern RFC
  • University RFC
  • Waiheke RFC
  • Waitakere City RFC
  • Waitemata RFC

Stadium

Auckland play their home matches at Eden Park, and have done so ever since 1925. It opened in 1900 and also is used for cricket. Eden Park has the largest crowd capacity of any New Zealand sporting venue with around 42,000 for cricket and 47,500 for rugby. It is currently expanding from a seating plan of 47,500 to an estimated 60,000.

Current squad

On 29 July, the wider training squad for the 2013 ITM Cup season was announced. Charlie Faumuina and Steve Luatua were not named due to All Blacks commitments while Gareth Anscombe, Ben Lam and Albert Nikoro were left out due to injuries.[1]

Props

  • New Zealand Pauliasi Manu
  • New Zealand Sam Prattley
  • New Zealand Angus Ta'avao
  • New Zealand Ofa Tu'ungafasi

Hookers

Locks

  • New Zealand William Lloyd
  • New Zealand Liaki Moli
  • New Zealand Patrick Tuipulotu
  • New Zealand Jack Whetton
 

Loose Forwards

  • New Zealand Luke Braid
  • New Zealand Sean Brookman
  • New Zealand Joe Edwards
  • New Zealand So’otala Fa’aso’o
  • New Zealand Sean Polwart
  • New Zealand Kara Pryor
  • New Zealand Peter Saili
  • New Zealand Chris Vui
  • New Zealand David Whitecliffe-Davies

Halfbacks (Scrum-halves)

First Five-Eighths (Fly-halves)

  • New Zealand Orene Ai’i
  • New Zealand Calvary Fonoti
  • New Zealand Simon Hickey
 

Midfielders (Centres)

  • New Zealand Vince Aso
  • New Zealand Malakai Fekitoa
  • New Zealand Hadleigh Parkes

Wings

  • Tonga George Moala
  • New Zealand Tenina Sauileoge
  • New Zealand Saleaula Silipa
  • Samoa Meilani Vai

Fullbacks

  • New Zealand Charles Piutau
  • New Zealand Leroy Van Dam
  • New Zealand Lolagi Visinia

Denotes that a player is unavailable due to injury, Bold denotes player is internationally capped.

All Blacks

This is a list of players who have represented New Zealand from the Auckland representative rugby union team. Players are listed by the decade they were first selected in and players in bold are current All Blacks.

1880–1899

  • George Carter - 1884
  • John Gage Lecky - 1884
  • Timothy Beehane O'Connor - 1884
  • Thomas Ryan - 1884
  • Joseph Astbury Warbrick - 1884
  • Francis Mahon Jervis - 1893
  • Frederick Steele Miller Murray - 1893
  • Charles Richard Barton Speight - 1893
  • Maurice Herrold - 1893
  • Robert Hugh McKenzie - 1893
  • Frank Surman - 1896
  • Robert Alexander Handcock - 1897
  • George William Smith - 1897
  • Alexander Wilson - 1897

1900–1919

  • William Cunningham - 1901
  • William Edward Hay-MacKenzie - 1901
  • Robert Wylie McGregor - 1901
  • Albert Asher - 1903
  • David Gallaher - 1903
  • Henry Arthur Douglas Kiernan - 1903
  • Andrew Thomas Long - 1903
  • George William Nicholson - 1903
  • George Alfred Taylor - 1903
  • Charles Edward Seeling - 1904
  • William Henry Mackrell - 1905
  • Arthur Reginald Howe Francis - 1905
  • Harold Owen Hayward - 1908
  • Michael Joseph O'Leary - 1910
  • Frank Reginald Wilson - 1910
  • James Richard Maguire - 1910
  • Albert Joseph Downing - 1913
  • Alwin John McGregor - 1913
  • George Maurice Victor Sellars - 1913
  • James Thomas Wylie - 1913
  • John Alexander Bruce - 1913
  • James Barrett - 1913
  • William McKail Geddes - 1913
  • John Victor Macky - 1913
  • James Douglas Stewart - 1913
  • John Gerald O'Brien - 1914
  • Lynley Herbert Weston - 1914

1920–1939

  • Cecil Edward Oliver Badeley - 1920
  • Vivian Whitta Wilson - 1920
  • Karl Donald Ifwerson - 1921
  • Andrew James O'Brien - 1922
  • Victor Ivan Roskill Badeley - 1922
  • Leonard Stephen Righton - 1923
  • Frederick William Lucas - 1923
  • Albert Edward Cooke - 1924
  • Lawrence Alfred George Knight - 1925
  • Arthur Robert Lomas - 1925
  • Herman Alfred Mattson - 1925
  • Donald Hector Wright - 1925
  • Arthur Knight - 1926
  • Thomas Reginald Sheen - 1926
  • William Alexander Wright - 1926
  • Swinbourne Hadley - 1928
  • Ruben George McWilliams - 1928
  • Walter Batty - 1928
  • Victor Claude Butler - 1928
  • Llewellyn Simpkin Hook - 1928
  • Bertram Pitt Palmer - 1928
  • Mervyn Miles Nelson Corner - 1930
  • Frank Solomon - 1931
  • Thomas Harcourt Clarke Caughey - 1932
  • William Edward Hadley - 1934
  • Cyril Stennart Pepper - 1935
  • David Solomon - 1935
  • Henry Mackay Brown - 1935
  • Brian Alexander Killeen - 1936
  • Terence McClatchey Lockington - 1936
  • John Dick - 1937
  • William Nicol Carson - 1938

1940–1959

  • Frederick Richard Allen - 1946
  • John Markham Dunn - 1946
  • Maurice James McHugh - 1946
  • Robert William Henry Scott - 1946
  • Eric George Boggs - 1946
  • John George Simpson - 1947
  • Percy Laurence Tetzlaff - 1947
  • Neville Henry Thornton - 1947
  • Arthur Maitland Hughes - 1947
  • Neville Wyatt Black - 1949
  • Patrick Joseph Bourke Crowley
  • Desmond Lawrence Christian - 1949
  • Ronald Leslie Dobson - 1949
  • John Wallace Kelly - 1949
  • John Maurice Tanner - 1950
  • Charles Percy Erceg - 1951
  • David Ross Wightman - 1951
  • Selwyn George Bremner - 1952
  • Keith Davis - 1952
  • Jack Robert Skeen - 1952
  • Hallard Leo White - 1953
  • Terence Raymond Lineen - 1957
  • Raymond Frank McMullen - 1957
  • Wilson James Whineray - 1957
  • Adrian Hipkins Clarke - 1958

1960–1979

  • William Anthony Davies - 1960
  • Steven Roberto Nesbit - 1960
  • Desmond Michael Connor - 1961
  • Donald William McKay - 1961
  • Paul Francis Little - 1961
  • Waka Joseph Nathan - 1962
  • MacFarlane Alexander Herewini - 1962
  • Barry Trevor Thomas - 1962
  • Malcolm John Dick - 1963
  • Peter Henry Murdoch - 1964
  • Ronald Edward Rangi - 1964
  • Grahame Stuart Thorne - 1967
  • Ronald Anthony Urlich - 1970
  • Bryan George Williams - 1970
  • Kenneth Roy Carrington - 1971
  • Peter John Whiting - 1971
  • Andrew Maxwell Haden - 1972
  • Bruce Mcleod Gemmell - 1974
  • Lawrence Gibb Knight - 1974
  • Jon Stanley McLachlan - 1974
  • Christopher Louis Fawcett - 1976
  • Bradley Ronald Johnstone - 1976
  • Stuart Bruce Conn - 1976
  • Colin Paul Farrell - 1977
  • Barry Graeme Ashworth - 1978
  • Gary Ruchard Cunningham - 1979|
  • Timothy Moore Twigden - 1979

1980–1989

1990–1999

2000–

References

External links

  • Official site
  • Eden Park Website
  • Supporters Club

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