King Country Rugby Football Union
|Ground(s)||Owen Delany Park|
|2015||7th (Lochore Cup Champions)|
The King Country Rugby Football Union is a constituent union in the New Zealand Rugby Union. It is located in the central North Island of New Zealand in an area known as the King Country. It was formed in 1922 when the South Auckland Rugby Union was split into three (the other two Unions formed were Waikato and Thames Valley).
The King Country team play from Owen Delany Park, Taupo, Rugby Park, Te Kuiti and Taumarunui Domain, Taumarunui. King Country are like many other heartland unions have struggled since the start of professional era. In 1996, King Country were in the first division of the NPC and in just 6 years were in the third division.
The current King Country Rugby Football Union was formed in 1922, by the amalgamation of the first King Country Rugby Union (which was renamed as the Taumarunui Sub-union in 1922) along with the Ruapehu Sub-union in Ohakune (founded 1908), Maniapoto Sub-union in Te Kuiti (1907) and Ohura Valley Sub-union (1920). These were joined by Otorohanga Sub-union in 1927, Kawhia in 1926 and Kaitieke in 1933 with the Taupo Sub-union transferring from the Hawkes Bay Rugby Union in 1987. The Ruapehu Sub-union returned to its original parent union the Wanganui Rugby Union in 1970.
This was the second attempt to establish a Rugby Union in the middle of the North Island, as in 1920 the Rangatiki, Taihape, Ruapehu sub-unions (all affiliated to the Wanganui Rugby Union), and the King Country Union (affiliated to South Auckland) had applied for affiliation as the Main Trunk Union. However, this was declined after the Wanganui Rugby Union objected to the loss of their country players.
In those early years King Country representative games were held in Te Kuiti, Taumarunui and Raetihi or Ohakune. Otorohanga was first used for a representative game in 1939 with representative games also being hosted in Tokaanu (1966) and Turangi (1967).
King Country played in light blue and green until 1949 when it switched to maroon and gold hoops. In 1980, a maroon jersey with gold collar and cuffs was adopted. The current strip has been used since 1994.
King Country has made 19 challenges for the Ranfurly Shield over the years without success but having come close at times, going down to Taranaki in a hard fought game 11-15 in 1958. In 1969 they came even closer when good mates Colin Meads and Kel Tremain were the respective captains, King Country storming back from 6-19 at half time in a torrid second half before going down 16–19.
Heartland Championship placings
|Heartland Championship Results|
|2006||5||0||2||3||77||92||−15||2||6||6th||Lochore Cup||Won 17–15 against Thames Valley||Lost 34–46 to Poverty Bay|
|2009||5||2||0||3||100||111||−11||2||9||5th||Lochore Cup||Lost 27–31 to North Otago||—|
|2014||8||5||0||3||196||176||+20||5||25||5th||Lochore Cup||Lost 6–37 to Wanganui||—|
|2015||8||4||1||3||245||192||+53||3||21||7th||Lochore Cup||Won 20–6 against Buller||Won 47–34 against North Otago|
King Country have never held the Ranfurly Shield.
|1922||Hawke's Bay||42–8||King Country||Napier|
|1958||Taranaki||15–11||King Country||New Plymouth|
|1964||Taranaki||21–0||King Country||New Plymouth|
|1969||Hawke's Bay||19–16||King Country||Napier|
|1971||North Auckland||16–6||King Country||Whangarei|
|1979||North Auckland||21–6||King Country||Whangarei|
|1988||Auckland||28–0||King Country||Te Kuiti|
|30 July 2016||King Country||0–55||Waikato||Bedford Park, Matamata|
|14:35 (NZST)||Report||Try: Brian Alainu'uese 11'
Hame Faiva (2)
Murray Iti 47'
Sevu Reece 74'
Matt Lansdown 78'
Tevita Taufui 80'
Con: Jordan Trainor (6)
Pen: Jordan Trainor
King Country in Super Rugby
- Kevin Boroevich
- Ronald Bryers
- Phil Coffin
- Jack McLean
- Sir Colin Meads
- Stanley Meads
- Bill Phillips
- Graham Whiting
Additionally, former England captain and coach Martin Johnson played for King Country, during his early career. Further former Welsh hooker Garin Jenkins spent a spell playing for the province in his younger years.
|Most Appearances||147||P. L. Mitchell||1988–2001|
|Most Points||917||H. C. Coffin||1984–1995|
|Most Tries||46||M. R. Kidd||1974–1984|
|Most Conversions||150||H.C. Coffin||1984–1995|
|Most Points In A Season||230||H. C. Coffin||1992|
|Most Tries In A Season||11||S. J. Bradley||1992|
|Most Conversions In A Season||40||H. C. Coffin||1992|
|Most Penalty Goals In A Season||45||H. C. Coffin||1992|
|Most Dropped Goals In A Season||8||I. N. Ingham||1966|
|Most Points In A Match||33||H. C. Coffin||1992|
|Most Tries In A Match||4||J. W. Wells||1992|
|Most Conversions In A Match||10||H. C. Coffin||1992|
|Most Penalty Goals In A Match||7||L. W. T. Peina||2000|
King Country Rugby Football Union is made up of 11 clubs.
- Bush United Rugby Football Club, Benneydale
- Kio Kio United Sports Club, Maihiihi
- Piopio Rugby Football Club, Piopio
- Taumarunui Districts Rugby Football Club, Taumarunui
- Taumarunui Rugby & Sports Club, Taumarunui
- Taupo Marist, Taupo
- Taupo Rugby & Sports Club, Taupo
- Taupo United Inc. Taupo
- Tongariro Sports Club Inc. Turangi
- Waitete Rugby Football Club, Te Kuiti
- Waitomo Rugby Sports & Recreation Club, Waitomo
King Country is geographically is a large union covering a wide area, however the population is very small, as a result there are only a few secondary schools within the region. As a result King Country Rugby Union doesn't have a consolidated Secondary Schools competition, rather the schools play their rugby in over provinces such as Waikato and Bay of Plenty Rugby Unions. These schools are still eligible for the King Country Secondary Schools and U19 Rugby Representative teams however.
- Otorohanga College
- Piopio College
- Tauhara College
- Taumarunui High School
- Taupo Nui-a-Tia College
- Te Kuiti High School
- Te Kura o Hirangi, Turangi
- Tongariro School, Turangi
together these schools are able to challenge for the Sam Te Kaha Shield, which is a challenge shield between all King Country Secondary Schools.
- "Standings (2006–present)". Heartland Championship. Retrieved 13 April 2016.
- "Fixtures and Results (2006–present)". Heartland Championship. Retrieved 13 April 2016.
- "Finalists found in Lochore and Meads Cups". Newshub. 23 October 2010. Retrieved 13 April 2016.
- "2010 Lochore and Mead Cups finals wrap". Heartland Championship. 31 October 2010. Retrieved 13 April 2016.