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Kia ora/ Welcome

New Zealand's Oldest Rugby Football Club

As President of Nelson Rugby Football Club Inc (est.1868) it is my pleasure to welcome you to our official website.

Founded in 1868. Rugby began in 1870 with the first game ever played between Nelson and Nelson College at the Botanical Reserve in Nelson City.

We are extremely proud of our history and heritage and are committed to promoting the development of rugby for all people throughout the Nelson and Tasman region of New Zealand and beyond.The aim of the website is to update club activities and provide a historical digital repository for future generations of the club to access.

You are invited to browse the site and you may wish to bookmark the web page for your future ease of use.

Kia Maia,

Shane Graham

AGM: Friday 1st November 2019

Presidents Report

Kia ora

Can I acknowledge those that have passed this year, Haerer atu rā harere. The loss of life and long-time members Dick Wiechern, Terry Phillips, Harley Nathan and Bill Marshall is recognised and acknowledged, their families are in our thoughts and we extend our deepest sympathies. We also acknowledge those who are ill and battling health matters.

David Havili cupCongratulations to our Mitre 10 First Division Tasman Mako team on achieving the title in a manner befitting the expectations of the region and the people of the Top of the South. 12-0 is no small achievement, a team full of Nelson players and leadership we feel justifiably proud that we have contributed to this success story.

Andrew Shane cupThe club rugby programme has been challenging with Murray Scott leading the Senior Team and Daniel McDonald leading the Senior B. It’s fair to say that this year has been a development year and the results reflect this as we build for next year's season. I want to thank Murray personally for all his efforts where he put up his hand when no one else did. To the Senior B side/Bravo company, well done and congratulations on building a strong base to move forward.

Our junior club is in good heart and sees our long serving Junior Club Captains Quentin and Jo Harwood continuing their sterling work. The John Goodman Sevens continues to grow, even if the weather didn't play ball this year, and the number of teams that turned out despite the weather is a testament to John.

Sponsorship is a key to any club's survival, and we have been pleased by the support of our continuing major club sponsors, Galbraith Group and McCashins Brewery and along with our other club sponsors thank you for your ongoing contribution. As we head into our 150-year celebrations at Queen's Birthday weekend you and other sponsors truly belong.

The celebrations are important to mark our history and place in New Zealand rugby and we have some exciting activities planned.

Wingman continues to be embedded in the club culture and we look forward to continuing to realise that in difficult times we should all be watching out for each other.

Finally, my thanks to the hard-working committee who have been tremendous in their volunteer contributions to allow us to do what we do. Kerry Strange, as Chairman has taken over the reins for the meetings along with Sam Burling as quasi Secretary and helped what would be an unmanageable situation as President in a high compliance environment.

It has been a challenging year and we need new blood and energy from people willing to step into committee roles to carry the load. We would welcome your contribution - please approach any committee member on how to do this.

Also, to all our volunteers, players, management, coaches and families that have contributed to the Club in 2019 thank you "You Belong"

To our Life Members elect this year, congratulations. Your awards are well earned and overdue. We hope you received this recognition for yourself and families with pride.

Yours in Rugby

Shane Graham

Election of Officer’s 2019

Patron: Don Fowler

President: Shane Graham

Past President: Murray West

Chairman: Kerry Strange

Vice President: Brett Newcombe

Treasurer: John Brydon

Senior Club Captain: James Fairbrass

Junior Club Captain: Quentin Harwood


Management Committee: Shane Graham, Kerry Strange, Brett Newcombe, John Brydon, James Fairbrass, Gerry Quaide, Quentin Harwood, Chris Pugh, Red de Garnham, Jo Harwood, Jonathan Corfe, Tony Gargiulo

Hon. Solicitor: Jonathon Corfe

Welfare Officer: Stephen Gargiulo


Senior A: Kade Heke

Manager: Chris Pugh

Senior B: Daniel McDonald


Honorary Memberships

Shane Jo Steve Life MembershipJoin us in congratulating Jo Harwood and Stephen Gargiulo - our new life members.

At the AGM the motion to present the awards to Jo and Stephen was unanimously passed and recognises the contribution, over many years, they make to viability of the club.

Jo has supported Quentin running the junior club for the last 16 years, as well as serving on the committee and running the bar.

Stephen, as well as being the welfare officer, does a huge amount behind the scenes to keep the clubrooms and changing rooms functioning. In these endeavours he is supported by his wife Sandra and Stephen acknowledged her contribution to him receiving his life membership.

AGM Minutes: once finalised the Minutes of the AGM will be loaded to the website.

Quiz Night

Fund raiser for our 150th celebrationsquiz 200

Thursday 21st November, 7pm at Clubrooms

  • $15 pp
  • Bar open
  • Great prizes

Get a group of friends together & book a table (4-6 people per table)


Check out our latest video - an interview with Mary Palmer, wife of the late Riccardo (Lick) Gargiulo.

Mary talks to Barbara Hodgson about marrying into the Nelson Rugby Football Club family. Lick and his brothers Dudley, Anton and Leon all received Life Memberships for their huge contribution to the Club. The family connection with the Club started in the late 1930's with their parents Frank and Mary Gargiulo.

In celebration of the club's 150th anniversay Barbara Hodgson has been interviewing some of the club identities to capture their memories and create a living history of the club. You can watch all the interviews on our channel.

2020: our 150th year celebrations

In 2018 we celebrated the 150th year since the birth of the Club, known at the time as the Nelson Football Club. The Club played a hybrid form of the game — a mixture of Association football and Melbourne Rules football (now known as Australian Rules Football).

In 1870 Charles Monro introduced the club to rugby as we know it today and the club formally adopted the name Nelson Rugby Football Club.

In 2020 we celebrate 150 years since the establishment of the Nelson Rugby Football Club, New Zealand's oldest rugby club.

We are planning a number of events next year, building towards the 150th celebration over Queen's Birthday weekend.

Please keep an eye on our website and Facebook page for events and their dates.

More information & expression of interest

150 NRFC logo

Membership Draw: 11/10/2019

1st Prize ($350)
Ticket No. 45 - Pat Hands
2nd Prize ($100)
Ticket No. 72 - Trevor Allen
3rd Prize ($50)
Ticket No. 21 - Sam Burling

Dates to remember

7pm at Clubrooms
Quiz Night
Xmas drinks

Interested in being a member?

Senior Players

Senior Club Captain

James Fairbrass - 021 132 2049


Senior A: Kade Heke - 027 655 2225

Senior B: Daniel McDonald - 027 859 7091

Junior Players

Junior Club Captain

Quentin Harwood - 027 302 3508

Non-playing membership

See our Membership page for more information.

Contact us