Story: Nelson region

Roadside Stories: Nelson, birthplace of New Zealand rugby

New Zealand’s first rugby match was held in Nelson in 1870, at the suggestion of Charles Monro, who had played the game as a student in England. Rugby spread rapidly throughout the country, and Māori were quick to embrace the game. It was especially popular in small rural towns.

Listen to a Roadside Story about Nelson and rugby. Roadside Stories is a series of audio guides to places around New Zealand.

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YouTube: Manatu Taonga's channel

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How to cite this page:

Carl Walrond, 'Nelson region - Sport and recreation', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/interactive/35335/roadside-stories-nelson-birthplace-of-new-zealand-rugby (accessed 18 August 2019)

Story by Carl Walrond, updated 3 Aug 2015