History

The Petone Rugby Football Club was founded in 1885 and is the 3rd oldest Rugby Club after Wellington (1870), and Poneke (1883). Petone celebrated its 125th Anniversary in 2010. It has been the Wellington Premier Champions 38 times between 1895 and 2005. In addition it has won the Club Championship on no fewer than 42 occasions between 1922 and 2006.

The Club has produced 30 All Blacks and 16 NZ Maori representatives. Andy Leslie - NZ Rugby Union President in 2007 and 2008 - was the Club's first appointed All Black touring captain to Britain (1974) and South Africa (1976). Tana Umaga became an All Black in 1997 and became Captain in 2004. As well as this Petone players have represented New Zealand at all levels of the game including NZ Womens Black Ferns. We have had several players who have represented other countries in Internationals, including Scotland, England, Italy, Tonga, Australia, Samoa, Sweden, Spain and the British and Irish Lions.

Petone had a four-year reign as Premier Champions between 1904 and 1907 and the Club set a memorable record in the 1907 season when it won all championship grades in the Wellington competition. In the 1971 season the Premier team won the Premier competition and the Jubilee Cup for the fifth consecutive season and became the first club in the history of Wellington rugby to achieve this feat since the club competition was commenced in 1868. It is noteworthy that the first three wins in this sequence were achieved under the leadership of arguably the greatest All Black prop forward in the history of the game - Ken Gray. The Ken Gray Academy was established in 1995 in Ken's name to assist in the development of the best young players wishing to find their way through the Club to the highest representative honours.

Club membership consistently numbers approximately 800, made up of Life Members, Vice Presidents, Honorary Members, Open and Age Grade players and 400 young players in the Junior Section ranging from 4 and 5 year olds in the nursery grade to 12 year olds. The Club fields 9 teams in the Wellington Union's competition grades from Premier to Under 21 including Presidents (over 35 year olds).

The Petone Club is situated at the lower end of the Hutt Valley on a site in Udy Street. The Clubrooms stand immediately adjacent to North Park, which is used as the practice venue.

Other Club facilities include:

  • Outdoor training - floodlit fields at North Park and on Petone Recreation ground on the other side of Udy Street.
  • A large indoor Tiger Turf Stadium capable of use by a full forward pack and backline in training.
  • Two large and well equipped changing and showering rooms.
  • A modern and very well equipped weights room.
  • A large modern lounge with full bar and kitchen facilities.
  • Extensive collection of memorabilia from around the World.
  • A BBQ area featuring gardens, paved courtyard and BBQ. 
  • The Andy Leslie Foyer

The Club funds a full-time Coaching Coordinator, Darren Larsen (Lardie).

The Club adopted its familiar monogram on the recommendation of its illustrious Life Member and Maori All Black, Matt Love, as part of its 50th Jubilee celebrations in 1935. The monogram is embellished by the words in Maori "Kia Kaha Kia Maia" broadly translated as ‘Give of your best - Be confident in your own ability’. This reflects the strength of the partnership with Maori in the Club.

The centennial history records that Te Puni arrived in the Hutt Valley in 1817 and died here in 1870. In the first official match ever played by the Petone Club three descendants of Te Puni were included in the fifteen. Today, Petone Rugby has a multicultural mix of members in a very family orientated environment. Visitors are always welcome to come in and share our hospitality. The Club always stands proud of this heritage.

Petone Rugby Football Club celebrated its 125th Anniversary in 2010

 The following is a potted history of the Petone Rugby Football Club

1839 Arrival of NZ Land company ship Tory
1840 Arrival of first immigrant ship Aurora at Britannia (Pitione)
1855 Earthquake raises Petone foreshore 6 feet.
1874 Opening of Railway line Petone to Wellington.
1878 Building of Railway workshops commences.
1879 Wellington Rugby Union formed.
1882 Marine Retreat Hotel opens.
Gear Meat Company opens.
1885 Petone Rugby Club formed.
1888  Petone proclaimed a borough.
1890 Petone Junior team wins Wellington Championship.
1891 Petone first competes in senior competition.
Adopts present colours and Saddle style jersey.
1893 Walter Peter Pringle becomes clubs first All Black.
1894 Wellington Referees Association instituted.
1895 Senior team wins first W.R.F.U. Championship.
Petone Borough Council leases land for a Recreation ground.
Lever Brothers open Soap factory.
1896 Wednesday Championship commenced.
1901 Major William James Hardham awarded V.C. in Boer War.
1904-1907 Petone wins consecutive senior championships.
1905 D McGregor tours U.K. with the original All Blacks.
1907 All five Petone teams win respective Championships
(Special medals struck and presented to all players)
1914-1918 The Great War, 13 club members gave their lives.
Club restricts senior team to under 20 year olds.
1919 Sgt-Major Jim Ryan Captains NZ Army team at Twickenham.
1921 Ginger and Mark Nicholls play for NZ against South Africa.
1922 Petone wins Club championship for first time.
Matt Love becomes NZ Maori Representative.
1924 Electric street lights turned on for first time in Petone.
1928 Railway workshops begin move to Woburn
Petone Soccer wins Chatham Cup Final at Basin Reserve.
1932 3-4-1 Scrum formation adopted.
W.R.F.U. starts Senior "B" Competition.
1934 Inaugural McBain Shield match against Hutt.
Club forms Ladies Committee that runs continuously for 35 years.
1935 Golden Jubilee celebrated. Adopts logo KIA KAHA KIA MAIA.
1939 New Grandstand built at Petone Rec.
Start of World War 2.
1940 Centennial Memorial opened on Petone Foreshore.
1945 End of World War 2.
Saturday Morning schoolboy rugby commences.
1954 New Clubrooms open on North Park.
Bob Scott arrives in Petone.
1960 75th Jubilee.
School of Pharmacy teams play in club colours until 1981.
1964 Under 20 team visit Australia.
1966 Gymnasium extensions completed.
1967 Fifteen club teams in W.R.F.U. Championship.
1971 Seniors beat Ponsonby on Eden Park.
Japanese Schoolboys visit.
1972  National coaching schools hosted by club continuously for 6 years.
1973 Club selection tours North America.
Senior Team completes season undefeated.
1974 Senior Team tours South Africa.
Andy Leslie appointed All Black Captain.
Champion of Champions Tournament commences.
1975 Ian Upston's 13 yr coaching tenure ends with 8 Jubilee Cup wins.
Extensive renovations completed at club.
1978 Petone Sports Association formed.
1982 Allan Hewson sets World Test Match points record 26pts v Aust.
1983 Club Team tours Japan.
1985 Club celebrates 100 years
1988 Petone Borough Centenary.
1989 Petone Borough amalgamates with Lower Hutt City.
1993 First Petone Women's team enters W.R.F.U. Championship.
1996 Professional Rugby commences.
Hurricanes play first season.
Ken Gray Academy formed.
1998 New changing rooms built on Gymnasium.
2004 Tana Umaga appointed All Black Captain.
2005 New website petonerugby.com launched.
Sawdust Pit receives major upgrade, Tiger Turf installed.
2006 Foyer and BBQ area receive upgrades.
Host the World Golden Oldies Festival.
2007 Andy Leslie elected President NZRU.
2010   

Club celebrates 125th anniversary and the

museum opens upstairs on the mezzanine

floor.