Taranaki Rugby Football Union

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Taranaki Rugby Union)
Jump to: navigation, search
Logo Taranaki Rugby Union.svg
Union New Zealand Rugby Union
Nickname(s) The Taranaki Bulls
Founded 1889
Location New Plymouth, New Zealand
Region Chiefs
Ground(s) Yarrow Stadium (Capacity: 25,500)
Coach(es) Colin Cooper
Captain(s) Charlie Ngatai
Most caps Ian Eliason (223)
Top scorer Unattached
League(s) Mitre 10 Cup
2015 4th
Team kit
Official website

The Taranaki Rugby Football Union (known as the Taranaki Bulls for competition reasons) are a New Zealand governing body of rugby union in the New Zealand province of Taranaki. The main stadium is Yarrow Stadium which is located in New Plymouth. The union also represents the Taranaki Bulls, which is professional rugby union team who compete in the Mitre 10 Cup competition and contest for the Ranfurly Shield. Before 2006 the Bulls competed in the National Provincial Championship.

On 25 October 2014 Taranaki won their first ITM Cup, defeating Tasman 36–32 in New Plymouth. This was the first time a team from outside the main population centres had won the premier New Zealand domestic rugby competition since Manawatu in 1980. Taranaki has won the NPC second division more than any other Union in New Zealand, a record that the club will keep now the NPC is defunct. Taranaki also plays for the Ryan Wheeler memorial trophy, a trophy played for annually with the Waikato Rugby Union.

In 2013, Taranaki changed its Super Rugby allegiance to the Chiefs, after severing ties with the Hurricanes, which it had been part of since 1996.


On May 31, 1889 the Hawera club convened a meeting in Hawera, of delegates from the Hawera, Waimate (Manaia), New Plymouth, Okaiawa, and Eltham clubs. This meeting agreed to form the Taranaki Union. During the year Stratford and Midhirst clubs united as Manganui club, Tikorangi and Waitara clubs combined as Clifton club, and Inglewood and New Plymouth Star clubs were and among others founded and became part of the union. By the turn of the century, Taranaki R.F.U. had produced eleven All Blacks, six of whom toured Great Britain in 1905. Taranaki currently plays in the professional Mitre 10 Cup, which it won in 2014.[1]


  • Bell Block Rugby Sports and Community Club
  • Clifton Rugby and Sports Club
  • Coastal Rugby and Sports Club
  • Eltham Kaponga Rugby Football Club
  • Inglewood United Rugby Football Club
  • Kaitake Rugby Club
  • Manaia Rugby Football Club
  • New Plymouth High School Old Boys Rugby Football Club
  • Okaiawa Rugby Football Club
  • Patea Rugby and Sports Club
  • Southern Rugby Club
  • Spotswood United Rugby Football and Sports Club
  • Stratford Rugby and Sports Club
  • Toko Rugby Football Club
  • Tukapa Rugby and Sports Club

For historical purposes the merged clubs are:

  • Spotswood United Rugby Football and Sports Club: Merger of the Star Rugby Football Club and the Spotswood Old Boys Rugby Football Club.
  • Coastal Rugby and Sports Club: Merger of the Okato Rugby Football Club, the Rahotu Rugby Football Club and the Opunake Rugby Football Club.
  • Eltham Kaponga Rugby Football Club: Merger of the Eltham Rugby Football Club and the Kaponga Rugby Football Club.
  • Southern Rugby Club: Merger of the Hawera Rugby Football Club, the Hawera Athletic Rugby Football Club and the Waimate Rugby Football Club.

The schools that participate in these grades are:


The Taranaki Rugby Referee's Association is affiliated to the T.R.F.U. and provides referees for matches at all levels from high school, to the T.R.F.U. premier competition. The Taranaki Rugby Referee's Association has the backing of sponsor Farmlands.

Each year the TRRA names a Top Five. Top Five after the 2016 season is;

  • Cameron Stone
  • Richard Kelly
  • Will Johnston
  • Max O'Leary
  • Trent Mischefski

Paul Williams was not considered due to his Super Rugby commitments.

These five referees are involved as assistant referees and substitution controllers at the local Mitre 10 Cup, Super Rugby and international matches at Yarrow Stadium. They are also involved in local development and age-group representative matches as New Zealand Rugby Union have given most of the representative appointments back to the local provinces.

The Dean Cup[edit]


The Dean Cup is believed to be the oldest competition trophy still being played for in the sport of rugby union. Played for between three rural Taranaki clubs, Strathmore, Whangamomona and Toko, it was originally presented by Mrs. Athalinda Dean in 1906 for a cricket match, however due to poor playing conditions this was cancelled and a rugby match began the tradition in 1907.

In 2003 when Whangamomona challenged Strathmore for the cup and the game was played at Yarrow Stadium on 19 April as a curtain raiser to the Hurricanes versus Highlanders Super 12 match. Strathmore were victorious, on this occasion, holding on to defend the cup and winning 17–16 in front of a capacity crowd. This is the first time that the Dean Cup has been played for outside of the Eastern Districts.

High performance[edit]

The T.R.F.U. has several teams under its control, one of note is the Taranaki Bulls whom compete in New Zealand's national rugby union competition the Mitre 10 Cup. Their top professional team, the Bulls is coached by Colin Cooper and captained by midfielder Charlie Ngatai.[2] Their traditional colors are amber and black hoops with white shorts, with Canterbury of New Zealand being the main manufacturer. They are also sponsored by Port Taranaki.[3]

Current squad[edit]

The Taranaki squad for the 2016 Mitre 10 Cup was announced on 2 August. Samoan international Isaia Tuifua was listed as injury cover.[4]

Note: Flags indicate national union as has been defined under WR eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-WR nationality.

Player Position Union
Cocker, RyanRyan Cocker Prop New Zealand New Zealand
Graham, MitchellMitchell Graham Prop New Zealand New Zealand
Kainga, MikeMike Kainga Prop New Zealand New Zealand
O'Neill, ReubenReuben O'Neill Prop New Zealand New Zealand
Proffit, JaredJared Proffit Prop New Zealand New Zealand
Sorovaki, AsaeliAsaeli Sorovaki Prop Fiji Fiji
Jones, HarryHarry Jones Hooker New Zealand New Zealand
Lea, SioneSione Lea Hooker Tonga Tonga
Marshall, RhysRhys Marshall Hooker New Zealand New Zealand
Brown, MitchellMitchell Brown Lock New Zealand New Zealand
Hoeata, FinFin Hoeata Lock New Zealand New Zealand
Matwijow, BenBen Matwijow Lock Australia Australia
Power, LeonLeon Power Lock Australia Australia
Price, LeightonLeighton Price Lock New Zealand New Zealand
Boshier, LachlanLachlan Boshier Flanker New Zealand New Zealand
Crosswell, MitchellMitchell Crosswell Flanker New Zealand New Zealand
Hall, BernyBerny Hall Flanker New Zealand New Zealand
Wyrill, AdrianAdrian Wyrill Flanker New Zealand New Zealand
Halafihi, ToaToa Halafihi Number 8 New Zealand New Zealand
Iopu-Aso, IopuIopu Iopu-Aso Number 8 New Zealand New Zealand
Player Position Union
O'Donnell, KylemKylem O'Donnell Scrum-half New Zealand New Zealand
Tahuriorangi, Te ToiroaTe Toiroa Tahuriorangi Scrum-half New Zealand New Zealand
Whittaker, CodyCody Whittaker Scrum-half New Zealand New Zealand
Barrett, BeaudenBeauden Barrett Fly-half New Zealand New Zealand
McKenzie, MartyMarty McKenzie Fly-half New Zealand New Zealand
Perofeta, StephenStephen Perofeta Fly-half New Zealand New Zealand
Fa'auli, JohnnyJohnny Fa'auli Centre New Zealand New Zealand
Ngatai, CharlieCharlie Ngatai (c) Centre New Zealand New Zealand
Tamanivalu, SetaSeta Tamanivalu Centre New Zealand New Zealand
Wainui, SeanSean Wainui Centre New Zealand New Zealand
Waaka, BeaudeinBeaudein Waaka Centre New Zealand New Zealand
Mataele, ManasaManasa Mataele Wing Fiji Fiji
Naholo, WaisakeWaisake Naholo Wing New Zealand New Zealand
O'Donnell, DeclanDeclan O'Donnell Wing New Zealand New Zealand
Ormond, JacksonJackson Ormond Wing New Zealand New Zealand
Spooner-Neera, TrinityTrinity Spooner-Neera Wing New Zealand New Zealand
Vaeno, LatuLatu Vaeno Wing Tonga Tonga


Match Centurions[edit]

Across Taranaki rugby history 32 players have now played 100 or more matches for the Taranaki union.

The 32 players and the details are:

Career Span Matches
Career Span Matches
Career Span Matches
M. Allen 1988–96 110 I. Flavell 1956–65 105 R. Fraser 1973–82 107
K. Barrett 1986–99 167 A. Gardiner 1966–75 102 K. Hurley 1959–71 120
R. Brown 1953–68 144 D. Loveridge 1974–86 135 I. MacDonald 1956–66 121
W. Bunn 1979–89 109 S. McDonald 1991–98, 2000 116 J. McEldowney 1967, 1969–80 125
P. Burke 1948–59 117 P. Martin 1967, 1970–79 125 G. Mourie 1975–82 104
C. Cooper 1979–87 100 D. Murfitt 1984–85 1987–93 106 F. O'Carroll 1973–83 128
K. Crowley 1980–94 200 T. O'Sullivan 1955–59 1961–66 104 B. Robins 1980–92 147
I. Eliason 1964–81 223 A. Slater 1989–2001 180 G. Slater 1991–95 1997–2005 176
R. Elmes 1980–82 1984–89 103 L. Thomson 1983–85 1987–91 104 J. Thwaites 1969–81 120
K. Eynon 1991–95 1999–2000 103 P. Tito 1998–2006 100 M. Watts 1978–85 123
M. Wills 1962–72 131 T. Penn 1999–2009 103
  • The primary source for this table is the official Taranaki web-site. It is worth noting that the basis of these figures is matches recognised by the Taranaki Union and not its parent body the NZ union. Two players have significant differences between the NZ union recognised figures and the Taranaki figures. Firstly, Ian Eliason's NZRFU recognised figure is 222 which gives him a share of the NZ record of most matches for a union while the Taranki figure includes a non-first class match which takes the figure to 223 which would give him the record outright. Kieran Crowley played in that same non-first class match and thus the NZRFU recognise just 199 of his matches as being first class.

Notable players (current and former players)[edit]

Taranaki All Blacks[edit]

Current All Blacks

Former All Blacks

  • Harold Abbott – 1905–06
  • Lewis Allen – 1896–1901
  • Mark Allen – 1993–97
  • Alfred Bayly – 1893–97
  • Walter Bayly – 1894
  • George Beatty – 1950
  • Roger Boon – 1960
  • Noel Bowden – 1952
  • Kevin Briscoe – 1959–64
  • James Broadhurst – 2015
  • Charlie Brown – 1913–20
  • Handley Brown – 1924–26
  • Ross Brown – 1955–62
  • Peter Burke – 1951–57
  • Mick Cain – 1913–14
  • Don Cameron – 1908
  • Ray Clarke – 1932
  • Maurice Cockerill – 1951
  • Arthur Collins – 1932–34
  • John Colman – 1907–08
  • Kieran Crowley – 1983–91
  • Bill Currey – 1968
  • Henry Dewar – 1913
  • Jason Eaton – 2005–06
  • Ian Eliason – 1972–73
  • Richard Fogarty – 1921
  • Ashley Gardiner – 1974
  • Francis Glasgow – 1905–08
  • William Glenn – 1904–06
  • Alan Good – 1893
  • Hugh Good – 1894
  • Augustine Hart – 1924–25
  • Percy Hickey – 1922
  • Jarrad Hoeata – 2011
  • Andrew Hore – 2002–12
  • Daniel Hughes – 1894
  • Arthur Humphries – 1897–1903
  • James Hunter – 1905–08
  • David Johnston – 1925
  • Charles Kingstone – 1921
  • Alfred Kivell – 1929
  • James Lambie – 1893–94
  • David Loveridge – 1978–85
  • George Loveridge – 1913–14
  • John McCullough – 1959
  • John McEldowney – 1976–77
  • John Major – 1963–67
  • Chris Masoe – 2005–06
  • Frederick Masters – 1922
  • Hugh Mills – 1897
  • Graham Mourie – 1976–82
  • Brian Muller – 1967–71
  • Simon Mynott – 1905–10
  • Charlie Ngatai – 2015
  • Bernard O'Dowda – 1901
  • James O'Sullivan – 1905–07
  • Terrence O'Sullivan – 1960–62
  • Dick Roberts – 1913–14
  • Bryce Robins – 1985
  • Roy Roper – 1949–50
  • Alistair Scown – 1972–73
  • Gordon Slater – 1997–2000
  • Alan Smith – 1967–70
  • Leonard Stohr – 1910–13
  • John Sullivan – 1936–38
  • Reginald Taylor – 1913
  • Roger Urbahn – 1959–60
  • Scott Waldrom – 2008
  • John Walter – 1925
  • Edward Ward – 1928
  • James Watson – 1896
  • Murray Watts – 1979–80
  • William Wells – 1897
  • Alfred West – 1920–25
  • Murray Wills – 1967
  • Thomas Wolfe – 1961–68

All Black captains[edit]

Reuben Thorne is the fourth old boy from New Plymouth Boys' High School to captain the All Blacks in a test match. Just one school, Southland Boys High School has produced more – with six.

New Plymouth's four have been:

Year Tests
Alan Reid 1957 2 Tests
John Graham 1964 3 Tests
Graham Mourie 1977–82 19 Tests
Reuben Thorne 2001 22 Tests


  1. ^ "Taranaki rugby". New Zealand History. New Zealand History. July 24, 2016. Retrieved July 24, 2016. 
  2. ^ "2015 Port Taranaki Bulls ITM Cup Squad Announced". Taranaki Rugby. 17 July 2015. Retrieved 17 July 2015. 
  3. ^ Mclean, Glen. "Port has Taranaki's back for 2015". Taranaki Daily News. Retrieved 14 November 2014. 
  4. ^ McLean, Glenn (2 August 2016). "Charlie Ngatai included in Taranaki's NPC squad". Taranaki Daily NewsStuff.co.nz. Retrieved 2 August 2016. 

External links[edit]