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.
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.|
Club celebrates 125th anniversary and the
museum opens upstairs on the mezzanine