NEPIA, H. George M.
A new biography of Nepia, George appears in the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography on this site.
H. George M. Nepia (the H and M are assumed, and are without significance) was born at Wairoa on 25 April 1905 and educated at the Maori Agricultural College, Hastings, where he was playing rugby with distinction in 1922. He represented Hawke's Bay in 1923 and was the only fullback selected to tour with the 1924 All Blacks (“The Invincibles”). George Nepia also played in the All Black teams of 1929 and 1930. In 1935 he captained the New Zealand Maori team which toured Australia. His record as a New Zealand representative was 46 matches, in which he scored 99 points. He represented Hawke's Bay in 1925–26 and East Coast in 1929–30 and created a New Zealand record by playing 38 consecutive matches for the country. For two seasons he played professional rugby league football in England and has since been farming in the Gisborne district. After his retirement from international play, he took part in local games and often acted as a referee. His best single score was the 17 points he made for the North Island team in 1924. In 1963 Nepia (with T. P. McLean) published I, George Nepia – which contains his personal reminiscences of a period which many consider the golden years of New Zealand rugby.