From The Vaults

05 December 2022
New Zealand Rugby Records

An initial set of books containing records of early New Zealand inter-provincial rugby and inter-colonial tours has recently been released…

The Rugby Almanack of New Zealand was first published in 1935 containing details of New Zealand first class rugby matches from the previous year. The Almanack has continued to be issued ever since then covering every subsequent season of New Zealand rugby. But the first inter-district match took place in 1870 leaving over sixty seasons for which no detailed records have ever been produced. A new publication, New Zealand Rugby Records, has started to fill that gap.

As well as provincial encounters there were several overseas tours made during these years. New South Wales twice came to New Zealand and a New Zealand team made a reciprocal trip to New South Wales. Also, there were two momentous tours from one side of the world to the other - those of a Great Britain team to Australasia and the New Zealand Native team tour which lasted for over a year. The matches of these tours are covered in detail.

The current books stop just prior to the formation of the New Zealand union in 1892. But further volumes are currently being researched and more releases are planned. The books are available through the New Zealand Rugby Museum.

About the Author - Mike Parkinson grew up in Motueka, New Zealand, and his rugby playing career was highlighted by making the Motueka High School first XV. His first book was a rugby history of the now long-gone Golden Bay-Motueka union. Now retired in Wellington, his time is taken up by researching early New Zealand rugby and these books are the result.