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The Wellington Rugby Football Union (WRFU) is the official governing body of rugby union in the city of Wellingtonmarker, the capital of New Zealand. Also the cities of Poriruamarker, Upper Huttmarker and Lower Huttmarker come under WRFU jurisdiction.It was founded in 1879, making it the second oldest provincial union in New Zealand, with its 125th jubilee celebrated in 2004.

Super Rugby

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, had long been mired in the second half of the National Provincial Championship, allowing Wellington to lure the better players of these provinces with ease (Christian Cullen from Manawatu for example). The 2006 reorganisation of provincial rugby in 2006 brought all three provinces into the top-level Air New Zealand Cup, but Wellington have maintained their regional dominance.

Since Super Rugby's inaugural season in 1996 the Hurricanes have had positive results. They first reached the semi-finals in 1997 where they lost to the Australian side the ACT Brumbies. After a number of years they started to gain some consistancy reaching the finals in four of six years, although falling one game short of the grand-final losing in the semi's on both occasions to the Crusaders in 2003 and 2005. The following year in 2006 the Hurricanes reached their frst Super Rugby Grand Final where they lost the game 19 - 12 to none other than the Crusaders. A return to finals rugby came in both 2008 & 2009 but again the Cane's couldn't reach the grand final, bowing out in the semi's yet again.

National Representative Rugby

Wellington Lions logo
The senior Wellington representative team, the Wellington Lions play in the Air New Zealand Cup, replacing the National Provincial Championship in 2006, which the Lions have won four times since its inception in 1976. The titles came in 1978, 1981, 1986 and most recently in 2000. Their colours are gold and black as shown on the Lions jersey. The Lions play their home games at the Westpac Stadiummarker, previously playing at Athletic Park until 1999. Even with an All-Star backline in the late 90's including Christian Cullen, Tana Umaga, Jonah Lomu and Alama Ieremia what was a superb team on paper never lived up to expectations and Wellington became known for its inconsitency. More recently it should be noted however that although the Lions have been unable to win another national title the Wellington side have made it all the way to the grand final in five out of the last six years, losing to Auckland in 2003, to Canterbury in 2004, to Waikato in 2006, Auckland in 2007 and most recently to Canterbury in the 2008 Air New Zealand Cup.

The Wellington Lion's 2009 Air New Zealand Cup Season has gone well, with the side finishing 2nd of the table. They will host Ranfurly Shield holders Southland in their semi final, with the winner facing Canterbury in the final at AMI Stadium on the 7th of November

Ranfurly Shield

Ranfurly Shield

Current holder Southland
Defences 0
Next Challenge 2010

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 1980s Wellington had short stints defending the shield but after losing it to Canterbury in 1982 it was to prove elusive. Wellington suffered 10 unsuccessful challenges for the Ranfurly Shield until they took it off Auckland in 2008, scoring five tries in a 27-0 victory, on the weekend of the Auckland Union's 125th anniversary.

Wellington lost the shield to Canterbury on the 29th of August. Losing 36-14 at the Cake-tin. Canterbury then held the shield for 4 defences (over 8 weeks) before losing to Southland on the 22nd of October

Local Club Rugby

Club rugby is a large part of Wellington culture. Many All Blacks make appearances for their old clubs when available and many Wellingtonians follow a club.

  • 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 (Poriruamarker)
  • Oriental-Rongotai FC (Wellington)
  • Paremata-Plimmerton RFC (Poriruamarker)
  • 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)
  • Centurions RFC (2008) (Wellington)


Main sponsor is Vodafone. Apparel is supplied by Canterbury of New Zealand. Other sponsors include:
  • Dunlop
  • Ricoh
  • Tui
  • Interislander


Squad for the 2009 Air New Zealand Cup:





Loose Forwards

Half Backs

Fly Halfs




Full Backs

Notable players

External links

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