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Auckland are the top representative rugby union team of the Auckland Rugby Football Union in New Zealand. They currently compete in the Mitre 10 Cup Premiership. Auckland has been the most successful team in NPC and its successors, winning the title a record 16 times. Auckland have also produced a record number of All Blacks, 181, the most recent being Akira Ioane in 2017. Auckland are currently coached by Alama Ieremia.

Auckland
UnionAuckland Rugby Football Union
Founded1883; 136 years ago (1883)
RegionBlues
Ground(s)Eden Park (Capacity: 50,000)
Coach(es)Alama Ieremia
Captain(s)Patrick Tuipulotu
League(s)Mitre 10 Cup
20181st in Premiership
Team kit
Official website
aucklandrugby.co.nz

HistoryEdit

 
The Auckland team of 1875

Auckland has been the most successful union in New Zealand rugby history, having won a record 16 ITM Cup (and predecessor competition) titles. Auckland also holds the record for the most Ranfurly Shield wins (16), successful defences (148), and longest streak of successful defences (61). All Blacks statistics also reveal the extent of Auckland's influence: of the 1071 players to have worn the national jersey from 1888 to 2008, 133 were born in Auckland, compared to Christchurch (74), Wellington (60) and Dunedin (53).[citation needed]

Golden erasEdit

There have been many notable eras in the team's history. They were undefeated for six seasons from 1897, and there was a ground breaking run in the early 1920s under Sir Vincent Meredith.

The 1960–63 period, known as the Golden Era, was summed up in The Golden Years written by Don Cameron in 1983. Sir Wilson Whineray, who captained Auckland through those years, describes the period as one of "excitement, drama and fervor that transformed Eden Park into an oasis of magic during the winters of 1960, 1961, 1962 and 1963."

There was also a relatively undisturbed spell of success from 1982 through to the 2007 Air New Zealand Cup victory. Auckland won 16 of the 26 Air NZ NPC titles available in that time – a period that included 61 Ranfurly Shield defences.

Ranfurly Shield yearsEdit

 
The Auckland side that defeated the visiting British Isles team in 1904. Gallaher is standing in the back row on the far left.

Auckland were the first holders of the shield in 1902 and have won 153 out of 194 shield matches up to 2007 – the most successful record of any provincial union. Since 1902 there have been three notable shield eras: from 1905 to 1913 there were 23 challenges repelled, another 25 between 1960 and 1963, and 61 challenges in the period from 1985 to 1993. Players like Andy Haden, Sean Fitzpatrick, John Drake, Olo Brown, Zinzan and Robin Brooke, Gary and Alan Whetton, Michael Jones, Steve McDowall, Grant Fox, Bernie McCahill, Grant Dickson, Mark Carter, Joe Stanley, John Kirwan and Terry Wright were important in Auckland's success in the 1980s and 90s.

With six titles in the 1990s, and four so far in the new century, Auckland's success continued. The 2007 team was the first since the 1990 side to remain unbeaten in a season and win the Ranfurly Shield and the provincial championship. Players like Kees Meeuws, Keven Mealamu, Ali Williams, Justin Collins, Xavier Rush, Steve Devine, Brad Mika, Ben Atiga, Doug Howlett, Daniel Braid, Brent Ward and Angus Macdonald have contributed to this success.

StadiumEdit

Auckland play their home matches at Eden Park, and have done so since 1925. It opened in 1900 and also is used for cricket. Eden Park has the largest crowd capacity of any New Zealand sporting venue with around 42,000 for cricket and 47,500 for rugby. Temporary seating for the 2011 Rugby World Cup expanded the capacity to 60,000.[1]

Current squadEdit

All BlacksEdit

This is a list of players who have represented New Zealand from the Auckland team. Players are listed by the decade they were first selected in and players in bold are current All Blacks.

1880–99Edit

1900–19Edit

1920–39Edit

  • Cecil Edward Oliver Badeley – 1920
  • Vivian Whitta Wilson – 1920
  • Karl Donald Ifwerson – 1921
  • Andrew James O'Brien – 1922
  • Victor Ivan Roskill Badeley – 1922
  • Leonard Stephen Righton – 1923
  • Frederick William Lucas – 1923
  • Albert Edward Cooke – 1924
  • Lawrence Alfred George Knight – 1925
  • Arthur Robert Lomas – 1925
  • Herman Alfred Mattson – 1925
  • Donald Hector Wright – 1925
  • Arthur Knight – 1926
  • Thomas Reginald Sheen – 1926
  • William Alexander Wright – 1926
  • Swinbourne Hadley – 1928
  • Ruben George McWilliams – 1928
  • Walter Batty – 1928
  • Victor Claude Butler – 1928
  • Llewellyn Simpkin Hook – 1928
  • Bertram Pitt Palmer – 1928
  • Mervyn Miles Nelson Corner – 1930
  • Frank Solomon – 1931
  • Thomas Harcourt Clarke Caughey – 1932
  • William Edward Hadley – 1934
  • Cyril Stennart Pepper – 1935
  • David Solomon – 1935
  • Henry Mackay Brown – 1935
  • Brian Alexander Killeen – 1936
  • Terence McClatchey Lockington – 1936
  • John Dick – 1937
  • William Nicol Carson – 1938

1940–59Edit

1960–79Edit

1980–89Edit

1990–99Edit

2000 – 2009Edit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Eden Park | The Stadium". www.edenpark.co.nz. Retrieved 1 April 2019.
  2. ^ "2019 Auckland Mitre 10 Cup squad named". Auckland Rugby (Press release). 4 August 2019. Retrieved 4 August 2019.

External linksEdit