badge image
badge image

The Grounds

The Nelson Rugby Football Club has been associated with three historical grounds in the city.

Trafalgar Park

Trafalgar Park, the headquarters of rugby football in Nelson, (originally known as The Mudflat Recreation Ground) consisted at its opening of about eight acres of land reclaimed from the sea by the Nelson Athletic Ground Company. It was opened by the Mayor of Nelson, Mr J. Sharp, on Saturday, April 21, 1888, in the presence of about 250 citizens and to the strains of martial music from the Nelson Garrison Band.

Following the declaration, a match was played between the representative XV and the next XV 111, the reps, winning by two points to one, to institute rugby football on the park. Nelson Club’s first appearance on Trafalgar Park took place a week later, on April 28, 1888, against Nelson Star Club. Nelson Club won by one point (a try by A. I. Ledger) to nil.

Victory Square

On this Square, situated on the south west side of the city, Nelson Football Club played Association and Victorian rules football (and a mixture of both) in 1868 in 1869. It was here, too that Charles John Munro coached the Nelson club players in Rugby rules and where the club practised and played its first matches of rugby football.

Botanical Reserve

This reserve is situated in Nelson East, at the foot of Botanical Hill, the geographical centre of New Zealand. It was here, on May 14, 1870, that Nelson Football Club and Nelson College created rugby history by playing the first inter-club match under Rugby rules in New Zealand.

Botanics Plaque

Botanics Copy