Hawke's Bay Rugby Union

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Hawke's Bay Rugby Union
Logo HB Rugby Union.svg
Full name Hawke's Bay Rugby Union
Nickname(s) Magpies
Founded 1884
Location Napier
Region Hurricanes
Ground(s) McLean Park (Capacity: 22,000)
Chairman Brendan Mahony
Coach(es) Craig Philpott
Captain(s) Brendon O'Connor
League(s) ITM Cup Championship
Women's Provincial Championship
2015 1st in Championship. Promoted to Premiership for 2016
1st kit
2nd kit

The Hawke's Bay Rugby Union (HBRU) is the governing body of rugby union in the Hawke's Bay region of New Zealand. The union is based in Napier.

Representative rugby[edit]

The representative team of the HBRFU is the Hawke's Bay Magpies. The team jersey is white with black hoops. The Magpies' home ground is McLean Park in Napier.

Hawke's Bay was one of the strongest teams in the second division of the former NPC for many years prior to the formation of the Air New Zealand Cup, winning the second division title several times but never being able to make it back into the first division.

Hawke's Bay has a women's team called the Hawke's Bay Tui's, which are apart of Women's Provincial Championship


The Hawke's Bay Rugby Union was founded in 1884. This makes it the oldest Provincial Rugby Union outside the four main centres. Hawke's Bay has a very good Ranfurly Shield record with 24 defences from 1922 to 1927, 21 successful defences between 1966 and 1969 as well as 2 defences in 1934.[1] Hawke's Bay won the shield again, claiming it from Otago, on 1 September 2013.[2] They lost the shield soon after to Counties-Manukau, before winning it back from them in August 2014\.[2] Hawke's Bay's glory days as a rugby union came long before the NPC was founded. As such Hawke's Bay does not have a very flattering record in either that competition or the Air New Zealand Cup. The best position they have managed in either is 3rd. Hawke's Bay dominated the second division of the NPC in the 1990s before the Air New Zealand Cup was set up in 2006.

In 1996 Hawke's Bay and Manawatu merged their teams to form the Central Vikings. It was an attempt to elevate the unions back to the then first division. Players such as Mark "Bull" Allen, Christian Cullen, Mark Ranby, Stephen Bachop and Roger Randle featured in the team. The 1997 season saw Central finish overall second with 6 wins, 2 losses and into the semi-finals. In the semi-final, the Vikings avenged their loss to Bay of Plenty in round robin play to face Northland in the final. Northland won the final 63–10. Northland were thus promoted to the First Division. However, had the Vikings won, they would not have been eligible to be promoted. 1998 saw a repeat of form for the Vikings who went unbeaten in the season. They subsequently won the final against Bay of Plenty at McLean Park, Napier and were promoted to First Division. However, due to financial issues, the merger split back to Hawke's Bay and Manawatu. Both unions subsequently became foundation unions of the Air New Zealand Cup which started in 2006.

In the past Hawke's Bay has produced some great All Blacks including Kel Tremain and George Nepia. Hawke's Bay also defeated the 1993 British Lions and in 1994 defeated France (who beat the All Blacks twice in that same tour).

Super rugby application[edit]

In 2009 Hawke's Bay announced they intended to apply to join the Super Rugby competition, when it was announced a fifteenth franchise was to be created. However, in August 2009 the club's chairman Richard Hunt announced they were withdrawing their bid because they had not had sufficient time to present a business plan.[3] He insisted the club remained very serious about joining the club in the future.[4] Hawke's Bay would be New Zealand's sixth team if they were to join Super Rugby[citation needed]. With the announcement that New Zealand might receive a 6th Super Franchise in the SANZAR Super Rugby competition beginning 2016, the Hawke's Bay union has announced its interest in forming this franchise together with Manawatu therefore effectively resurrecting the Central Vikings brand as a Super Rugby franchise.

Club rugby[edit]

2014 Nash Cup Champions (Premier)- Taradale

2014 Maddison Trophy Champions (Premier)- Havelock North

2014 Town/Country Champions (Premier Reserve/Division 2) – Otane

2014 Jack Swain Cup Champions (Premier Reserve)- Taradale

2014 Arthur Bowman Cup Champions (Division 2)- Aotea

2014 Maury Coady Cup Champions (Division 3)- Taradale

2014 Ron Parker Memorial Trophy Champions (Division 3)- Maraenui

2014 Intercity Cup Champions (Colts)- Taradale

2014 Pat Ryan Memorial Trophy Champions (Colts)- Havelock North

2014 Marsh Cup Champions (Women's)- Havelock North

2014 Champions Cup Champions (Women's)- Clive

Hawke's Bay in Air New Zealand Cup[edit]

Hawke's Bay made their debut, along with Tasman, Manawatu and Counties-Manukau, in the 2006 Air New Zealand Cup which had 14 teams. Hawkes Bay made their best effort to date in the 2007 Air New Zealand Cup winning many games even against bigger unions such as Wellington and Waikato. They were the fairytale story of the competition surprising everyone to reach the semi-finals where they were beaten by Auckland. They repeated this form in the 2008 and 2009 seasons where they were again beaten semi-finalists. This form in back to back seasons attracted warranted attention and many Hawke's Bay players were awarded with Super 14 contracts, both for the Hurricanes and elsewhere.

Social Media[edit]

Official Facebook account: Hawkes Bay Magpies Official Twitter account: Hawke's Bay Magpies Unofficial Twitter account: Hawke's Bay Magpies

Current squad[edit]

The Hawke's Bay squad for the 2015 ITM Cup.[5]





Loose forwards

Halfbacks (Scrum-halves)

First Five-Eighths (Fly-halves)


Midfielders (Centres)

Outside Backs

(c) Denotes team captain, Bold denotes player is internationally capped. Note – Ryan Tongia international capped rugby league.

Hawke's Bay New Zealand All Black players 2010's[edit]

2010's All Blacks[edit]


Most appearances[edit]

  • 158 – Neil Thimbleby 1959–71
  • 147 – Hunt R.J. (Richard) 1967–83
  • 125 – Hunter R.P. (Robbie) 1971–82
  • 120 – Stuart R.L. (Robbie) 1967–80
  • 111 – Crawford O. (Orcades) 1988–2000
  • 108 – Davis W.L. (Bill) 1961–71
  • 100 – Crawford K.K. (Karaan) 1964–71
  • 100 – Paewai M.R. (Murdoch) 1991–2003

Most points[edit]

  • 1007 – J.B. (Jarod) Cunningham 1990–98
  • 631 – Bishop I.R. (Ian) 1963–72
  • 435 – Small A.G. (Tony) 1957–65
  • 386 – O'Shaughnessy P.G. (Peter) 1981–90
  • 343 – Cooper M.J.A (Matthew) 1985–89
  • 339 – Grenside B.A. (Bert) 1919–31
  • 311 – Hunter R.P. (Robbie) 1971–82
  • 304 – Manawatu T.J. (Tim) 2001–03

Most tries[edit]

  • 74 – B.A. (Bert) Grenside 1919–31
  • 68 – Hunter R.P. (RobbieE) 1971–82
  • 55 – Davis W.L. (Bill) 1961–71
  • 50 – Tremain K.R. (Kelvin) 1962–70
  • 45 – Cooke P.J. (Paul) 1985–89
  • 44 – Smith D.B. (Dennis) 1964–70

Hawke's Bay All Blacks[edit]


  1. ^ Romanos (2001), p.192.
  2. ^ a b Fairfax NZ News (1 September 2013). "Hawke's Bay claim Ranfurly Shield glory". Stuff.co.nz. Retrieved 1 September 2013.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "2008_report" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  3. ^ "Rugby: Hawke's Bay ditch Super 15 bid". The New Zealand Herald. NZPA. 6 August 2009. Retrieved 2 October 2011. 
  4. ^ Hawke's Bay drops Super rugby bid
  5. ^ "Magpies 2015 ITM Squad named". HB Rugby. Retrieved 27 July 2015. 


External links[edit]