These are our Auckland Marist players who have proudly represented the New Zealand Maori All Blacks

Koinei o tatou kaitakaro Marist o Tamaki Makaurau i whakamanamana mo te kapa Allpango Maori o Aotearoa

John Francis AKURANGI

Date of Birth: 24th April 1970 in Hastings

​​​​​​​Marist New Zealand Maori All Black No. 14

Position: Hooker and Prop Forward

New Zealand Maori All Blacks Team in 1998 [tour to Scotland] and 1999 [tour to Fiji] playing 5 games

Other First Class level games of note include:

- At provincial level for Auckland from 1994 to 1997 [27 games and 45 points] with Auckland being the "NPC Champions " from 1994 to 1996, and for Counties Manukau [playing from Auckland Marist] from 1998 to 2001 [39 games and 25 points].

- At "Super Rugby" level with the Blues as a member of their Squad in 1996 [although he did not play], for the Crusaders in 1997  [2 games], and for the Chiefs in 1999 [8 games and 5 points].

- Overseas, for the England Club side, the Leicester "Tigers" team in 1999-2000 [9 games].

COMMENTS:

1. Akurangi  was born in Hastings, but he was educated at high school level initially at Mount Albert Grammar in Auckland and then at St Peters College in Auckland where he played for the First XV during one of the most successful periods in the College's history playing alongside significant Marist players such as Pat Lam and Matthew Webber.

2. After leaving school, Akurangi [known as "Axe"] began playing for our Marist Brothers Old Boys Rugby Club in Auckland working his way up through the grades until he got some intial appearances for the Premier team in 1989 [the year that the Premier's won the "Gallaher Memorial Shield" for the first time since 1950].

3. Akurangi was a member of our Club's Premier team from that 1989 season through until 2001 [although then playing provincial rugby for Counties Manukau]. This meant that he was a member of our Club's Premier team that played in the Auckland Club Finals each year through until 1996 with the team also being "champions" again in 1991, 1994, and 1996 during the most successful era in our Club's history.

4. In 1994, Akurangi first played for Auckland and this continued until 1997 [as a Prop Forward who could play Hooker] with him transferring to play his provincial rugby for Counties Manukau in 1998. He continued to play there through until 2001 with him playing professionally overseas in the "off season" for teams in the UK/Europe including for the Leicester "Tigers" in England from the end of the 1999 New Zealand Domestic Rugby season.

5. At "Super Rugby" level, Akurangi was a member of the Blues squad in 1996 although not getting any "game time", the Crusaders in 1997 [playing two games - one against the Hurricanes in Wellington won 19-17 and the other against New South Wales in Sydney lost 25-8], and the Chiefs in 1999 [playing eight games including making his debut against the Crusaders as a Replacement and also starting against the Blues alongside his Marist Clubmate Dylan Mika with the team also including former Marist Sevens player Jonah Lomu].

6. Being of Ngati Kahangungu iwi, Akurangi reached national honours when he played for the New Zealand Maori team in 1998 and 1999. In 1998, he was selected in the New Zealand Maori team along with then Marist clubmate Caleb Ralph for the tour of Scotland. Playing as a Hooker, he played three matches on the tour in games against the Edinburgh Reivers at Hawick as a Replacement [won 69-3], in the Test Match against Scotland in Edinburgh as a Replacement [won 24-8], and as the starting Hooker against the Glasgow Caledonians at Perthshire [won 53-15]. In 1999, he was again selected as a member of the Maori team who that year made a two game tour to Fiji with him playing in both games as a Prop Forward; the first was against a Fiji XV at Lautoka [won 20-10] and the second being the Test Match played against Fiji in Suva [won 57-20].

7. As previously mentioned, at the end of the 1999 New Zealand Domestic Rugby season Akurangi took up a contract to play overseas for Leicester "Tigers" with him coming back to New Zealand to play for Counties Manukau through until 2001. He was a versatile player who could play as both a Hooker and as a Prop Forward with this making him an asset in any team. Upon retirement from playing Rugby, he commenced as a coach intially in the UK before returing to the southern hemisphere. His gypsy lifestyle included him settling for a few years in Sydney where he coached rugby teams through the grades at Club level, but he was also an "extra" appearing as a "bouncer" for the acclaimed television series "Underbelly".

8. Akurangi has over the years had close calls with his personal health including a life threatening heart attack in 2010 and then major surgery across seven hours in 2015 to repair a torn aorta. He is currently living and coaching overseas in Italy with the Stezzano Rugby Club [a township that is north of Milan], but he is a regular visitor back to Aotearoa.

Total New Zealand Statistics; 83 First Class games and scored 80 points

AN APPROPRIATE PHOTOGRAPH IS NOT CURRENTLY AVAILABLE, BUT IS BEING ACTIVELY SORT and WE THANK GETTY IMAGES FOR THE TEMPORARY USE OF THIS IMAGE

Caleb Stanley RALPH

Date of Birth: 10th September 1977 in Rotorua

​​​​​​​Marist New Zealand Maori All Black No. 13

Position: Wing and Centre Threequarter

New Zealand Maori All Blacks Team from 1996 to 1997 [from Bay of Plenty], 1998 [from Auckland], from 1999 to 2001 and 2004 to 2005 [from Canterbury] playing 13 games scoring 25 points

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Refer Marist's All Blacks Profile​​​​​​​

His contributions to the New Zealand Maori team are as follows:

1. Ralph first played for the New Zealand Maori team in 1996 when he was playing from the Bay of Plenty provincial union.