South Canterbury Rugby Football Union

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South Canterbury Rugby Football Union
Club information
Full name South Canterbury Rugby Football Union
Colours Green and Black
Founded 1888
Current details
Competition Heartland Championship

The South Canterbury Rugby Football Union (SCRFU) is a rugby province based in the central South Island city of Timaru, New Zealand. The South Canterbury team play from Alpine Energy Stadium located in Timaru.


Club rugby in South Canterbury predated the formation of South Canterbury RFU by at least two decades. The first recorded club rugby match in South Canterbury was played on 15 October 1867 between The Timaru and Temuka Clubs at Arowhenua. Eight years later, in 1875, the South Canterbury Football Club was formed, founded by Alfred St. George Hamersley the former captain of the England national rugby union team and resident of Timaru. Soon after on 24 May 1875 a match was played between North and South Canterbury at Ashburton that resulted in a draw. More clubs were formed, such as the Waimate Football Club on 24 May 1876, and Christchurch are recorded as playing Temuka in 1876. On 26 July 1879, a meeting was held in Timaru at the instigation again of Hamersley, at which delegates representing the clubs Christchurch, Christ's College, Temuka, North Canterbury (Rangiora), Eastern (Christchurch), South Canterbury (Timaru), Ashburton, and Southbridge agreed to form the Canterbury Rugby Football Union.

The South Canterbury Rugby Football Union (SCRFU) was formed in 1888 when it broke away from the Canterbury Rugby Football Union. A meeting of delegates from football clubs in South Canterbury was held at the office of "Messrs Hamersley and Wood, Timaru, to consider the advisability of forming a Rugby Football Union in the district."[1] Once again, Hamersley was involved in a pivotal point in the history of rugby in the region and his role was commemorated in 2010 with the introduction of the Hamersley trophy, a 186 cm tall silver trophy, for the winners of the senior rugby competition (the Personnel Placements club rugby championship).[2] This meeting was attended by delegates from the South Canterbury, Pirates, Temuka, Waimate, Geraldine, Winchester and Fairlie Creek clubs and as a result of the union the South Canterbury club agreed to change its name to the Timaru Club.[3] Formal association with the Canterbury RFU was broken and it was established that the boundaries of the South Canterbury union were to be the Rangitata and Waitaki rivers, and the headquarters was Timaru. Soon after, a representative match was played on 24 July 1888 against the New Zealand Native Team on the Athletic Grounds, Timaru.

South Canterbury has produced a number of All Blacks and are one of the few unions to have played in all three Divisions of the NPC. South Canterbury has also had some notable victories over touring international sides including the 1961 French team.In 2011 the South Canterbury Heartland Team played the 2011 Russian World Cup Team who toured New Zealand on a Pre 2011 Rugby World Cup tour at Alpine Energy Stadium. Also 2011 saw two sell out Super 15 games played at Alpine Energy Stadium in Timaru - the Crusaders vs the Bulls and Crusaders vs The Blues.

Representative Rugby[edit]

[[Image: |thumb|South Canterbry 2011 v Russia]] The South Canterbury Rugby team play from Alpine Energy Stadium, Timaru and they play their rugby in the Heartland Championship. They also compete against Mid Canterbury and North Otago for the Hanan Shield.

South Canterbury in Super Rugby[edit]

South Canterbury along with Canterbury, Tasman, Buller, Mid Canterbury and West Coast make up the Crusaders Super Rugby franchise.


South Canterbury 2001 NPC 3rd Div Champions

South Canterbury won the 2nd division South Island in 1976, 1977, 1981 and the 3rd division in 1986, 1991, 1998, and in 2001. And the Lochore Cup in 2013

Heartland Championship placings[edit]

Heartland Championship Results[4]
Year Place Playoffs
2010 6th No
2011 5th Yes Beat Thames Valley Rugby Football Union in Timaru (semifinals), lost to Poverty Bay Rugby Football Union in Timaru(Lochore Cup Final)


South Canterbury hosted the 2010 and 2011 South Island Sevens Tournament at Alpine Energy Stadium in Timaru, A Provincial qualifier to the New Zealand National Rugby Sevens Tournament in Queenstown South Canterbury has qualified and competed at a number of New Zealand National Rugby Sevens Tournament the last been in 2011

Ranfurly Shield[edit]

South Canterbury has held the Ranfurly Shield twice, in 1950 and 1974.


Matches played:

1950 South Canterbury Team

Team members:

  • Coach: Brushy Mitchell (centre, second row)
  • Captain: Morrie Goddard (third from left)
  • Vice Captain: Lachie Grant (third from right)


1974 South Canterbury Team

Matches played:

Team members:

  • Captain: Ken Milne

Hanan Shield[edit]

The Hanan Shield is one of the most prestigious trophies in New Zealand's domestic rugby union competition. First played for in 1946, the Hanan Shield is based on a challenge system played between North Otago, South Canterbury and Mid Canterbury. South Canterbury are the current holders of the Shield after beating Mid Canterbury 17-15 on 13 October 2012.[5]


South Canterbury Rugby Football Union is made up of 8 clubs:

High School Teams

Notable players[edit]

All Blacks[edit]

There have been 22 players selected for the All Blacks whilst playing their club rugby in South Canterbury.

Name, All Black No. & Year:

To view player profile, go to

Super 12/14[edit]


  • Speights
  • Trust Aoraki
  • Placemakers
  • Alpine Energy
  • CBAY Fitness
  • XCM

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Official Website