Story: Rugby union

Auckland provincial team, 1875

Auckland provincial team, 1875

The Auckland football club was founded in 1870 and adopted the rugby rules in 1873. Other clubs developed there, and in 1875 they combined to form an Auckland team, which toured Wellington, Dunedin, Christchurch, Nelson and New Plymouth. These inter-regional games created considerable interest and encouraged spectators to come along and cheer for their local team. They were important in spreading a following for rugby. Such tours were only possible because rugby was initially played by the elite, who had the time and money to be able to tour.

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Alexander Turnbull Library, Crown Studios Collection
Reference: 1/2-191246-F
Photograph by Crown Studios

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Ron Palenski, 'Rugby union - The game spreads, 1870–1892', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 25 July 2024)

Story by Ron Palenski, published 5 Sep 2013, updated 1 Sep 2016