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Kia ora/ Welcome

New Zealand's Oldest Rugby Football Club

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.

Covid-19 Management

The club has adopted the MOH guidelines and will be following all advice issued by the MOH / NZ Government.

Game Day

Saturday 8th May

Div 1 Nelson 22 vs 25 Renwick

Again unavailability stressed our resources and with our Division II side also travelling away to play Valley Stags. Regardless the opportunity to return from Renwick with a win was with us right through to the last whistle.

Renwick jumped out to a 20-8 lead near halftime with some enterprising play off the back of our errors as the bus trip though short was enough to disrupt our normal pre-match routines and left us struggling for cohesion for the first 50 minutes of the match.

The half time focus was about retention and reconnecting and was the catalyst for a much needed boost as we scored 3 well taken tries and created more opportunities with at least one try disallowed and others brought back by assistant referee decisions.

As with the previous week the 3 point difference was a hurdle we couldn’t overcome although attacking til the final whistle with the last act being an error from a counter attack from deep.

The effort again was massive with 80 minutes required from our big men all who carried hard, tackled hard and played with big hearts for the second week in a row. A welcome return to the squad to Anton and Inoke both contributing to the final quarter of the game where the momentum shifted in our favour.

The points this week could have been given to everyone in the squad but well-earned 3 points: Larry, 2 points: Neo and 1 point: Anton for his valuable input with 20 minutes to go. The contributions of everyone with a blue jersey on cannot go without being highlighted as the team kept the pressure on Renwick right til the end particularly up front with Kershawl, Dylan, Bair and Isaiah. Pita again showcased his power with ball in hand and did it tough with a day trip from hell starting at 3am.

Next week we meet Marist at Trafalgar Park and look forward to another torrid encounter from a physical outfit playing some good rugby.

Gary Stevens, Div 1 coach

Team naming 8 5

Junior ruby

Junior rugby kicks off this weekend. We have five teams playing at Neale Park, with the rest of the games spread around the region.

You can find the draw on the Tasman Rugby Union website here.


Check out our latest video - an interview with Tom Sharland

Tom played for NRFC for 20 years - incurring the wrath of the Nelson College Headmaster for choosing to play for the club over the school. Tom has been an active sports person all his life (rugby, basketball & running to name a few) and now, at the age of 85 is still a keen biker. Tom talks to Barbara about his rugby career and his other sporting achievements.

In celebration of the club's 150th anniversary 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.

Club news

Shane handing the baton to incoming president Kerry Strange.

Shane handing the baton to incoming president Kerry Strange.

Ka neke haere e te Rangatira Shane

Ka neke haere e te Rangatira Shane

Nga mihi aroha mo to mahi rongonui

To mahi kaha

To mahi Manaaki

To mahi aroha

To mahi Rangatira

Aroha ki te tangata

Shane's has been involved in the club for over 35 years as a player and administrator. For the last 10 years Shane has served as the President - working tirelessly in the service of the club and putting in the hard mahi to keep the club going.

In his final report as President Shane outlined the highlights of his tenure as President ...

14 Championships - Tasman Trophies, Sevens, Nelson Bays, Noel Barton’s are all on the record. Our hosting of the RWC Events, First All Black Test, RSA/ ANZAC Day breakfast, Club Days, Website, Wingman, Numerous Mako, Representatives, Junior Club achievements and adding to our All Black ranks in all grades from Sevens, Under 20s and the main All Black Team.

During his time Shane has guided the club through the challenges of the professional game and the effect this has had on club rugby and, although Shane still sees this as a major issue, he leaves the club in good heart. Our balance sheet has survived the challenges of Covid, our reputation for hospitality is legendary and we are all proud to belong.

Shane has been fully supported in his endeavours by Jude Wadsworth and we thank her for all her hard work and support for the club.

In Shane's own words

I would like to indulge and personally thank certainly my biggest supporter and perhaps the most passionate person on the sidelines for the club, Judy Wadsworth who embodies the ‘You Belong’ value more than even me, I thank her dearly for her support, patience and aroha she is the real legend.

Barry Galbraith presented with his Life membership by President Shane Graham

Barry Galbraith presented with his Life membership by President Shane Graham

New Life Member

Join us in congratulating Barry Galbraith - our newest life member.

Barry and his family have contributed significantly to the club over the years and we thank Barry & Nicky for all their support.

It gave outgoing President Shane Graham great pleasure to make this award to Barry.

Recognising achievement and contribution has always been a great part of being a President and the awarding of Life Membership is a recognition that holds great mana not only from a personal point of view but a club point of view. I am pleased we award one at this my final meeting.

Interested in being a member?

Senior Players

Senior Club Captain

James Fairbrass - 021 132 2049


Div 1: Gary Stevens - 021 222 8410

Div 2: 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