In the beginning

Updated: Aug 8, 2019

Onewhero Rugby Football Club

The Onewhero District Football Club, as it was known the, was officially formed on 17 April 1920. That first year the club fielded two teams – one Senior, one Junior.

Prior to this there had been rugby teams in the Onewhero area.

The original Franklin Union was formed in 1983. It is unlikely that there was an Onewhero team then because the distances involved in travel would have made participation very difficult. Remember all transport was by horse in those days.

We know “The Boyz” team of 1987 (approx) was made up of local boys including Vic Lindberg, grandfather of Ken Lindberg. Sadly there are no names with the photograph we have. They probably organised friendly games against teams such as Tuakau and Bombay and possibly Pokeno and Mercer. It is believed Vic also played for a Tuakau team.

There is a photo of a 1909/1910 team with some names including Geraghty, Glasgow, Crawford, Liddle, and Lindberg – this time Charles Lindberg.

The Raglan Rugby Union was formed in 1912 and comprised of teams from Onewhero, Tuakau, Pukekawa, Te Kohanga and United (Mercer).

In 1913 the Onewhero Senior Cadets beat the Tuakau Senior Cadets 8-3.

1914 saw the outbreak of World War 1 and many local men went overseas to join the campaigns. Rugby, both within the Franklin and Raglan Unions, became very disorganised.

And so it was in 1919, as these young men started returning from the First World War that Rugby really started to grow. The young men had played the game overseas and were very keen. On 6 May 1919 a meeting of the Franklin Union was held and attended by delegates from Pukekohe (possibly known as White Star in those days – certainly not the Pukekohe Rugby Club as we know it in 2019), Waiuku, Bombay and Tuakau Clubs. The following year, 1920, they were joined by Patumahoe, Wairoa Rangers (Clevedon), Pokeno-Mercer United and Onewhero.


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