Welcome to the Northland Rugby Union history section!

Northland Rugby has now been in existence officially since 1920 – then known as North Auckland Rugby Union – following the amalgamation of Whangarei, Northern Wairoa, Bay of Islands and Otamatea initially and then followed by Mangonui, Kaipara, Hokianga, Whangaroa and Rodney in 1925. However the first details of rugby matches played in the Northland area date back well into the 1870’s with many sub-union affiliated to the Auckland Union long before the Northland Auckland Rugby Union was founded.

Northland has a long and proud history of players representing our Province, so check out all those that have pulled on the Cambridge Blue Jersey and have achieved unforgettable milestones.

The Northland Rugby Football Union (NRFU) is the governing body of rugby union in the Northland region of New Zealand, including the northernmost part of the Auckland local government region. It was named the North Auckland Rugby Union from its founding in 1920 until 1994.

Rugby was first played in Northland in the 1870s, and the first union was set up in the province in 1895, known as the Marsden Football Union. The Northland union was founded in 1920, as North Auckland Rugby Union. It formed when the Whangarei Rugby Union applied to the New Zealand Union to have the areas controlled by the Whangarei, Northern Wairoa, Bay of Islands, Otamatea and Hokianga sub-unions combined as a major union. This application was granted in 1921. In 1989 the Omaha, Warkworth and Kaipara Flats clubs merged to become the Mahurangi club and switched from the North Auckland union to the North Harbour Rugby Union. In 1994, North Auckland changed its name to the Northland Rugby Football Union.

North Auckland played their first ever match as union on August 3, 1920, in an 11-0 victory over South Island Country. However, they did not play their first 'inter-union' match until July 27, 1922 - an 8-6 loss at the hands of Auckland in Whangarei. Their first 'inter-union' win came on August 30, 1923, when they beat King Country 20-8.

If you feel a change needs to be made, or have additional information (such as a players full name) or queries, please email us. We will do our best to get back to you in a timely manner!


This section could not be possible without the work of Murray Dunn and the assistance of Chris Fife, George Goodhew and Clare Farrell