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The North Harbour Rugby Union (NHRU), commonly referred to colloquially as North Harbour or simply Harbour, is a provincial rugby team which competes in the Air New Zealand Cup, the successor to the country's former domestic competition, the National Provincial Championship (NPC).

Area

Harbour Rugby encompasses a geographical area that is situated in North Shore Citymarker, Rodney District and part of Waitakere Citymarker. There are 12 rugby clubs from Mahurangi RFC, based in Warkworth, Rodney Districtmarker, in the north through to the North Shore club based in Devonport, North Shore Citymarker, the southernmost area of the union.

Ranfurly Shield

After 10 previous unsuccessful challenges for the Ranfurly Shield, most notably 1996 when they challenged for it three times in 6 weeks against Taranaki, Waikato and Auckland, North Harbour succeeded in their eleventh challenge for the shield on 24 September 2006 by beating the previous holders Canterbury 21-17 at Jade Stadiummarker in Christchurchmarker .

Under the rules of the Shield challenge, they had to defend the Shield before the 2007 Air New Zealand Cup season against teams in New Zealand's second tier domestic competition, the semi-professional Heartland Championship. Accordingly, they scheduled defences against Thames Valley on 30 June 2007 and Horowhenua-Kapiti on 14 July. Harbour easily won their first defence 69-0 over Thames Valley, and followed it up two weeks later with an impressive 99-6 victory over Horowhenua-Kapiti. .

After defeating Taranaki 19-13 in their first challenge in the Air New Zealand Cup, North Harbour lost the Ranfurly Shield to Waikato by a record margin of 52-7.

Representative rugby

Representative teams from North Harbour take part in both national and regional competitions. The North Harbour Senior side plays in the Air New Zealand Cup.

Apparel is supplied by Canterbury of New Zealand. Main sponsors are:

North Harbour in Super Rugby

As North Harbour is one of three provinces involved in the Blues franchise who play in the Super 14 competition, their players are eligible to be picked by the Blues without relying on player drafting, thus, North Harbour players can be seen in Blues jerseys regularly also.

At the beginning of Super Rugby, North Harbour was part of the Chiefs franchise as a combined team of Auckland and North Harbour was thought to be unfair by the NZRU; Auckland and North Harbour collectively had a large percentage of the All Blacks of the time. Later however, North Harbour along with Northland were 'swapped' for Counties Manukau and, thus joined the Blues.

History

North Harbour was formed in 1985 from clubs which broke away from the Auckland Rugby Union. During this time the union's team has developed a reputation for playing quality rugby football.

North Harbour has enjoyed a great deal of success on the rugby field having produced All Blacks and other New Zealand Representative players, and also winning the 3rd division title in their first year, then promotion to NPC Division 1, and making the finals of the NPC competition on several occasions during the 90's, and hosted the 1994 final at a capacity-crowd Onewa Domain against Auckland.

Image:North_Harbour_Badge_1993.JPG‎|North Harbour's original Hibiscus badge

Onewa Domain, Northcote was the former home base for North Harbour rugby

North Harbour players play in the Super 14 competition as part of the Auckland Blues partnership with the neighbouring Northland and Auckland unions.

With the development of the North Harbour Stadiummarker at Albanymarker in the late 90's, this stadium became the home base of Harbour rugby.

Club and High-school Rugby

The club rugby season runs annually from March through to the beginning of August.

There are also 16 secondary schools fielding close to 100 teams within the North Harbour Region. Due to the ratio of secondary schools to rugby clubs, there is a strong relationship between the two.

Member clubs

  • Mahurangi
  • Silverdale
  • Helensville
  • Kumeu (Riverhead)
  • Massey
  • East Coast Bays
  • Glenfield
  • Northcote
  • Takapuna
  • North Shore
  • Marist
  • Royal New Zealand Navy


Current players

The following is a list of players for the North Harbour Air New Zealand Cup team in 2009
Props

Hookers

Locks

 

Loose Forwards

Halfbacks

Five-Eighths

 

Centres

Wings

Full Backs


Former players

These are players who have played for North Harbour in the past and have gone on to play international rugby and accomplish other feats as listed:



Notes and references



External links






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