Wellington Rugby Football Union
Nickname(s) Wellington Lions
Founded 1879
Ground Westpac Stadium
Capacity 34,500
Chairman Flag of New Zealand Joe Pope
Coach Flag of New Zealand Aussie McLean
League Air New Zealand Cup
2006 2nd - Runners-up

The Wellington Rugby Football Union (WRFU) is the official governing body of rugby union in the city of Wellington, the capital of New Zealand. Also the cities of Porirua, Upper Hutt and Lower Hutt come under WRFU jurisdiction.

International Super RugbyEdit

Players from Wellington who are eligible to play in the Super 14 generally play for the Hurricanes, and traditionally contribute the core of the Hurricanes squad. This position is largely due to the Wellington basing of the Hurricanes. Further, Manawatu and Hawke's Bay, two Hurricane provinces and prolific talent producers, have been mired in the second division in recent years, allowing Wellington to lure the better players of these provinces with ease (Christian Cullen from Manawatu for example).

Since Super Rugby's inaugural season in 1996 the Wellington Hurricanes have had mixed results. They have reached the semi-finals three times losing to the ACT Brumbies in 1997 & the Canterbury Crusaders in both 2003 & 2005. They did one better in 2006 marking the franchises first ever grand final appearance but lost the game 19 - 12 to none other than the Crusaders.

Ranfurly ShieldEdit

The Ranfurly Shield, colloquially known as the 'Log o' Wood', is perhaps the most prestigious trophy in New Zealand domestic rugby. First played for in 1904, the Ranfurly Shield is based on a challenge system, rather than a league or knockout competition as with most football trophies. The holding union must defend the Shield in challenge matches, and if a challenger defeats them, they become the new holder of the Shield.

Wellington won the first ever shield challenge winning it from Auckland in 1904 and defended it for 4 matches before losing it back to Auckland in 1905. It wouldn't be until 1914 when Wellington would get the shield back by winning it off Taranaki. This marked the longest time Wellington have held the shield successfully defending it for 15 matches until losing it again to Southland in 1920. They beat Southland a year later to regain the shield before promptly losing to Hawkes Bay after only 2 matches. Wellington held the shield for only one match in 1930 and after losing it to Canterbury they would not regain the shield until 1953. Up until the 1980's Wellington had short stints defending the shield but after losing it to Canterbury in 1981 they have not seen the Ranfurly Shield since.

Local Club RugbyEdit

Club rugby is a large part of Wellington culture. Many All Blacks make appearances for there old clubs when available and much like the soccer fan base in England, Wellingtonians will have a club rugby side that they support. Wellington club rugby is a true expression of 'grass roots' rugby at its best.

  • Avalon RFC (Lower Hutt)
  • College Old Boys-Victoria University (Wellington)
  • Eastbourne RFC (Lower Hutt)
  • Hutt Old Boys-Marist RFC (Lower Hutt)
  • Johnsonville RFC (Wellington)
  • Marist-St Pat’s RFC (Wellington)
  • Northern United RFC (Porirua)
  • Oriental-Rongotai FC (Wellington)
  • Paremata-Plimmerton RFC (Porirua)
  • Petone Rugby Club (1885) (Lower Hutt)
  • Poneke FC (1883) (Wellington)
  • Rimutaka RFC (1982) (Upper Hutt)
  • Stokes Valley RFC (1949) (Lower Hutt)
  • Tawa RFC (1947) (Wellington)
  • Upper Hutt RFC (1920) (Upper Hutt)
  • Wainuiomata RFC (1946) (Lower Hutt)
  • Wellington FC (1871) (Wellington)
  • Western Suburbs RFC (1983) (Wellington)

Notable playersEdit

External linksEdit

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