South Canterbury Rugby Football Union

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.

South Canterbury Rugby Football Union
Club information
Full nameSouth Canterbury Rugby Football Union
ColoursGreen and Black
Current details
CompetitionHeartland Championship


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 RugbyEdit

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 RugbyEdit

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 placingsEdit

Heartland Championship results[4][5][6][7]
Year Pld W D L PF PA PD BP Pts Place Playoffs
Qual Semifinal Final
2006 8 3 0 5 28 102 −74 2 14 5th No
2007 8 4 0 4 139 173 −34 3 19 2nd Lochore Cup Won 31–23 against West Coast Lost 35–38 to Poverty Bay
2008 8 3 1 4 181 167 +14 4 19 4th Lochore Cup Lost 30–43 to Poverty Bay
2009 8 5 0 3 169 198 −29 2 22 4th Meads Cup Lost 17–19 to Mid Canterbury
2010 6 4 0 2 121 119 +2 1 17 5th No
2011 8 4 0 4 239 187 +52 6 22 6th Lochore Cup Won 30–27 against Thames Valley Lost 22–49 to Poverty Bay
2012 8 5 0 3 265 227 +38 4 21 6th Lochore Cup Won 48–20 against Mid Canterbury Lost 28–31 to Buller
2013 8 4 0 4 246 202 +44 7 23 5th Lochore Cup Won 14–18 against Thames Valley Won 17–10 against Buller
2014 8 4 0 4 202 165 +37 5 21 6th Lochore Cup Lost 12–16 to North Otago
2015 8 7 0 1 346 162 +184 7 35 1st Meads Cup Won 25–21 against Wairarapa Bush Lost 11–28 against Wanganui


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 ShieldEdit

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


Matches played:

1950 South Canterbury Team

Team members:


1974 South Canterbury Team

Matches played:

Team members:

  • Captain: Ken Milne

Hanan ShieldEdit

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.[8]


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

High School Teams

Notable playersEdit

All BlacksEdit

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 12/14Edit


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

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Otago Witness, 16 March 1888, Page 27
  2. ^ Official site reporting Hamersley Cup Unveiled & New Sponsor Welcomed – from Jacob Page, Founder remembered in senior trophy, The Timaru Herald 19 March 2010
  3. ^ South Canterbury RFU Official Site – History
  4. ^ "Standings (2006–present)". Heartland Championship. Retrieved 13 April 2016.
  5. ^ "Fixtures and Results (2006–present)". Heartland Championship. Retrieved 13 April 2016.
  6. ^ "Finalists found in Lochore and Meads Cups". Newshub. 23 October 2010. Retrieved 13 April 2016.
  7. ^ "2010 Lochore and Mead Cups finals wrap". Heartland Championship. 31 October 2010. Retrieved 13 April 2016.
  8. ^ Jonathan Leask (13 October 2012). "Rugby: South Canterbury claim Hanan Shield".

External linksEdit

Official Website