|Born||26 April 1881
Invercargill, New Zealand
|Died||1 May 1928
New South Wales, Australia
|Height||170 cm (5 ft 7 in)|
|Weight||76 kg (12 st 0 lb)|
Edward "Ned" Hughes (26 April 1881 – 1 May 1928), was a New Zealand rugby union and rugby league player who played 9 times (6 of these were test matches) as an All Black hooker from 1907 until 1921 and twice for the Kiwis in 1910. His All Black career is unique in that there was a gap of 13 years between test matches, and that he is the oldest player ever to have played for the All Blacks, at age 40 years, 123 days.
Hughes first made the All Blacks in 1907.
He was one of the principal players, along with fellow All Black Don Hamilton, in the saga of petty officialdom which marred both the Southland and eventually New Zealand unions in 1908–09. In 1908, when he was captain of the Britannia club, he was suspended by the Southland Rugby Union for strking along with the rest of his team and the opposition, Hamilton's Pirates, when they refused to play a match due to ground conditions and the weather with Invercargill being hit by a blizzard. However, whilst suspended the teams played a benefit match under the new Northern Union (rugby league) rules. Then, in 1909, the New Zealand Rugby Union decreed that any player who had played any game under the "Northern" rules was to be regarded as a professional and was to be expelled.
Hughes was part of the first ever provincial game of rugby league in the South Island when he played for Southland in a home and away series against Otago in 1908. He later earned national selection and on 30 July 1910 he played for New Zealand in a Test against a touring Great Britain side.
Return to union
After World War I, he was allowed to play rugby union again, and was recalled to the All Black side to play in the two Tests against South Africa in 1921.
- John Haynes From All Blacks to All Golds: Rugby League's Pioneers, Christchurch, Ryan and Haynes, 1996. ISBN 0-473-03864-1
- Lion Red Rugby League Annual 1990 New Zealand Rugby League, 1990. p.75