​​​​​​​Since 1908...​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

The Marist Brother Old Boys Rugby Football Club of Auckland was formed in 1908 after a predecessor Club known as the "Sacred Heart College Old Boys' Rugby Football Club" had folded earlier that year and had become this new Marist Brothers Old Boys Rugby Football Club that played in the all of Auckland Club's Competition. 

There had previously been two distinctly seperated Club competitions played across greater Auckland with one known as the stronger "Auckland Districts Clubs" Competition that had first started in the mid-1880s and the other being the newly formed "Auckland Secondary Old Boys Clubs" Competition that had started in 1904. The "Districts" competition was played between the districts or areas around Auckland such as North Shore, Grafton, Ponsonby, City, Parnell, Takapuna, Suburbs, East Coast Bays, Waitemata, Northcote etc etc and the "Old Boys" competition was played between only teams of Old Boys from all of the then major colleges such as Grammar Old Boys, Sacred Heart College Old Boys, Kings Old Boys, Auckland University College Old Boys, St Johns College Old Boys etc etc.

However, that all changed when in 1908, the Auckland Rugby Football Union combined the two competitions and this system primarily remains to this date except for the splitting away of a North Habour Rugby Union in 1985 taking with it those Clubs situated on the northern side of the Auckland Harbour Bridge.​​​​ ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​


Our Marist Brothers Old Boy's Rugby Football Club of Auckland fielded its first teams on Saturday the 9th May 1908 wearing jerseys with broad light blue and dark blue bands with the Club known by many by the nickname of the "Two Blues".

​​​​​​​This first Senior team played in the Second Grade Competition and the team is fondly known as our Club's "Pioneer Team" with it having a very special place in our Club's history.

​​​​​​​Significantly, it was not until 1934, that there were the thin red stripes incorporated in our jerseys and those are the same "colours" that are currently very proudly worn by our teams on the "fields of rugby battle" across Auckland in all grades as part of Auckland Rugby Club Competitions. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

 Our Club entered its first Team to play in the Senior Grade of the Auckland Club Rugby Competition on the 14th of May 1910 in a match played at Auckland's Alexandra Park against University... our Club getting the win by 6 points to 5 in their very first ever outing. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Sadly however, by the season's end our Club's first ever Seniors team finished at the bottom of the competition table. It was not until 1911 that the development of the Club was significantly elevated when the Senior team that year fought out the season championship with the much larger City club team... Marist finished second in what was considered to be a "magnificent turnaround".

Our first won the Auckland Club Rugby Championship in the Senior Men's Competition occurred in 1912 [just two years after the first Senior team had played in the Competition]. This was considered then and still remains a remarkable achievement for such a newly formed Rugby Club with several of the players in that winning team having been members of the original players involved with the club in 1908 in our "Pioneers Team". 

Our Club had its first New Zealand international player, Albert Joseph Downing, selected in 1913 and he was joined in the New Zealand team later that year by Jim Barrett. The following year in 1914, the Club fielded four [4] players in the same New Zealand team when they were members of the team that toured Australia; namely Albert "Doolan" Downing, Jim "Buster" Barrett, Richard "Jock" McKenzie, and James "Jack" O'Brien.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Tragically, Sergeant Downing was "killed in action" in 1915 during the ferocious battle that occurred at the Gallipoli Peninsula [Turkey] where the Allied Forces were attempting to retain the strategic position above Gallipoli's Suvla Bay known as Chunuk Bair. It is reported that Downing had earlier that day "distinguished himself" during a "bloody bayonet charge". Tragically, he was later that night killed during ongoing fighting when grenades were thrown by the defending Turkish forces who were again attacking the Chunuk Bair position...

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Albert Joseph Downing is our Club's "ANZAC All Black" - we WILL always remember him.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

That 1915 season, our Club's Senior team won the Auckland Club Rugby Championship for the second time and the championship victory was proudly as well as emotionally dedicated to the late Albert Joseph Downing.​​​​​​

In 1917, the Club had to "temporarily suspend activities" [as did many other Clubs across the country] due to difficulties heavily associated with the advent of World War I. Those of our Marist players that remained back in New Zealand played for either the City Club or the Railways Club teams that continued to play in a severely reduced Auckland Club Rugby Competition [the Railways team actually won the competition that year of 1917 with some of our Marist players prominent]. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

    ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​In  1918, our Club was revived despite 200+ members of its playing numbers still being overseas and the tragic loss of life incurred by others that never made it back home to New Zealand due to them having made the ultimate sacrifice so that those who were left behind and those that came afterwards were able to live their lives in peace.

    Following the end of World War I, our Club regathered its playing strength and our Senior team next won the Auckland Club Rugby Championship in 1923. ​​​​​​​

    This was only the second year that the winner of the Aucland Club competition was awarded the "Gallaher Memorial Shield" [now more commonly known simply as just the "Gallaher Shield"]. This prestigious trophy honours the great player of Auckland, New Zealand, and World Rugby, David Gallaher, who tragically lost his life following a battle fighting for his country during World War I. He was the Captain of the outstanding New Zealand team of 1905-1906 that completed a tour of the British Isles, France, and the United States of Amercia [losing just the one game controversially] who were the very first team ever to be called the "All Blacks"... now recognised as the "Originals" or the "Original All Blacks"     ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

    ​​​​​​​Our Club's Senior team won the "Gallaher Memorial Shield" again in 1933 [coached and captained by Marist All Black Swin Hadley] and again in 1939 before the second world conflict known as World War II began.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

    A large number of our Marist club members were involved in World War II with some of the stories very briefly mentioned in our Marist All Blacks profiles possibly enabling some small insight into the impact that this war had upon those profiled. During this conflict, our Club was able to sustain a team in the Senior Competition of Auckland Club Rugby although the lesser grades were either cancelled or severely restricted.​​​​​​​ Officially, our Club "lost" thirty seven [37] Club Members who made the ultimate sacrifice for their Commonwealth and Country.

    Following the end of World War II, our Club quickly bounced back into operation and the ​​​​​Senior team won the "Gallaher Memorial Shield" in 1947 [captained by Marist All Black Morrie McHugh] and in 1950 [captained by Marist All Black Patrick Crowley]. And then, despite having some truly outstanding players in our playing strength, there was an absence of thirty-nine [39] seasons until 1989 that the "Gallaher Memorial Shieldwas back in the Marist Clubrooms, but then again it was back in quick succession at the end of the 1991, 1994,  and 1996 seasons.​​​​​​​ 

    ​​​​​​​Our Club has won a total of eleven [11] Auckland Club Rugby Championships including having won the "Gallaher Memorial Shield" nine [9] times with that being third equal amongst all of the Clubs in Auckland. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Aside from winning the Competition [1912, 1915, 1923, 1933, 1939, 1947, 1950, 1989, 1991, 1994, and 1996], our Senior team has been the "Runners Up" and/or beaten Finalists on multiple occasions... including most recently in 2012 and 2019. Significantly, the non-awarding of the "Gallaher Memorial Shield" in 2020 due to the "Covid-19 World Wide Pandemic" having caused the cancellation of all Auckland Club Rugby... it meant that for the first time in its history since it was first awarded in 1922 there was no winner of that trophy​​​​​​​

     ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Our Club now has a total of thirty-one [31]  New Zealand "All Blacks" with Hoskins Sotutu currently playing for our country's team in black in 2021. The previous feat of having four All Blacks selected for the team in the same year was repeated at the "1987 Rugby World Cup" when there were four Marist All Blacks again selected; namely [now Sir] John Kirwan, Zinzan Brooke, Bernie McCahill, and Terry Wright[Please head to Our Achievements  - Our All Blacks section on this website for Profiles of our Marist All Blacks]

    With Hoskins Sotutu playing for the All Blacks from our Club in 2021 and 2022, he became our Club's thirty first [31] player for the All Blacks and that makes our Club the 6th highest of all Rugby Clubs in New Zealand to have All Blacks selected from their club.​​​​​​​ Significantly, there are also numerous other players who have played for our Club that have gone on to become All Blacks after having previous spent some time wearing "our colours" with these players including Nick Bradanovich [AB No. 345], Ray O'Callaghan [AB No. 508], Percy Erceg [AB No. 524], Peter Burke [AB No. 534], Kevin Barry [AB No. 623], John Schuster [AB No. 889], Craig Innes [AB No. 901], Keven Mealamu [AB No. 1026], Francis Saili [AB No. 1126], and Angus Ta'avao [AB No. 1175].

    Many of our players have played for the New Zealand "All Black Sevens" team with a current member of the "All Black Sevens" playing from our Club being Akuila Rokolisoa.   ​​​​​​​​​​​​

    ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Women's Rugby has played a significant part in our Club's history... our thirty-four [34] New Zealand "Black Ferns" includes Katelyn Vaha'akolo who is currently playing for our country's team in black in 2023 and this is the fifth highest of all Rugby Clubs in New Zealand. Our Women's team have been the very proud winners of the "B.T. Thomas Trophy" [5] initially and then the "C. J. Coleman Shield" [15] as the champions of the Auckland Women's Club Rugby Championship which is more than of any other Club in Auckland with the latest success being in 2022.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ [Please head to Our Achievements  - Our Black Ferns section on this website for Profiles of our Marist Black Ferns]

    ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Our Club had its first New Zealand "Black Fern", Davida White, selected in 1993 which was only two years after the first fully recognised New Zealand Women’s team had ever played. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

    ​​​​​​​Outstandingly, we currently have playing for the New Zealand "Black Ferns Sevens" team from our Club one of the World's best Sevens players; namely Tyla Nathan-Wong, and she is one of several players from our Club that have played for the New Zealand "Black Ferns Sevens" team.​​​​​​​​​​​​​

    ​​​​​​​Players from our Club are playing or have played Super Rugby for teams including the Blues, Chiefs, Hurricanes, Crusaders, Highlanders, and the New South Wales "Waratahs". ​​​​​​​There have also been numerous players who have played in the past from and/or are currently from our Club that have represented other countries at the international level playing Fifteens and/or Sevens with those players having represented and/or are currently representing the Cook Islands, Croatia, Fiji, France, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Manu/Manusina Samoa, Scotland, Tonga, United States of America, and Wales. 

    ​​​​​​​​​​​​We are a very proud member of the New Zealand Marist Rugby Federation since its inception in 1965. The twenty-seven [27] Marist-affiliated Clubs around New Zealand have fielded more than seventy-eight [78] All Blacks and being part of that network is uniquely special. Our Club endeavours to play each year at the "North Island Marist Tournament" as part of that commitment and our Club has been the winner on numerous occasions of the "Spillane Cup" presented to the victors of the top division of that tournament. Our Club also provides players to the New Zealand Marist team and the New Zealand Marist Colts team​​​​​​​ with many of our star players having worn the colours of New Zealand Marist during their careers. 

    ​​​​​​​The sale of the Club’s former spiritual home at Ellerslie's Liston Park in 2008 resulted in a merger with the Tamaki Rugby Club and the relocation to our existing home at Mount Wellington War Memorial Reserve in Point England. The sale proceeds enabled the creation of the Marist Rugby Charitable Trust and this Trust assists with the funding of our extensive Rugby operation.​​​​​​​ ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

    ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Our Club Membership consistently numbers over 1000 each year that is comprised of Life Members, Club Officials and Administrators [past and present], and Club Members and Honorary Members including also players [past and present] with those still playing involved in Open and Age Grade competitions as part of Auckland Club Rugby. ​​​​​​​Our Club's Junior Divisions located around Auckland are our nurseries and we pride ourselves on having one of the largest Junior Divisions in Auckland. Notably, twenty [20] of our thirty-one [31] All Blacks have came through the Marist Juniors divisions... we believe there's many more than another twenty down there at least awaiting our careful development.