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Ranfurly Shield History

In 1902 Auckland became the first holders of the Shield because in that year it had the best record of any Provincial Union (the blue and whites were unbeaten that year). In 1904 the first challenge was held and Wellington became the first side to win a Shield challenge.

Since that first match, there have been more than 600 contests at grounds all around the country, every Provincial Union has challenged for the Shield but only 17 have held it and Shield Fever continues unchecked as the Shield inspires and unifies communities like no other trophy in New Zealand sport.

The Earl of Ranfurly, who donated the Shield, was the Patron of the then-New Zealand Rugby Football Union and Governor of New Zealand. The original prize was to be a cup but on its unveiling was discovered to be a shield, with a centrepiece showing an association football match. The Shield then underwent the first of a series of upgrades throughout its history, before being presented to Auckland.

Winners' names are traditionally engraved on small shields, along with the years in which they held the Shield. In 2012 the last of these shields was filled in when Waikato lifted the Shield, so the whole set was replaced to allow room for more winners in the future as well as recognising those teams who have held it.


Shield Fever run rampant in 2013 as Otago lifted the coveted ‘log ‘o wood’ for the first time since 1957. Hawke’s Bay also tasted success with their first Shield success since 1969. But the holders of the Shield at the end of the year were first time holders Counties-Manakau. In 2014, Hawke’s Bay wrested the Shield back from Counties and went on to face 11 challengers before losing the prize to Waikato in the final challenge of 2015.

Ranfurly Shield Records

Team records


Most consecutive matches
61, Auckland 1985–1993

Fewest consecutive matches
1 match, 9 times

Shortest tenure
6 days, Hawke's Bay 2013

Longest tenure
8 years, 10 months, 23 days, Southland 1938-47

Team match records

Highest score
139–5, Auckland v North Otago, 1993

Biggest winning margin
134, Auckland v North Otago, 1993

Most tries
23, Auckland v North Otago, 1993

Player match records

Most points
40 John Kirwan, Auckland v North Otago, 1993

Most tries
8, John Kirwan, Auckland v North Otago, 1993

Most conversions
12, Brett Craies, Auckland v Horowhenua, 1986, Grant Fox, Auckland v Nelson Bays, 1991
Glen Jackson, Waikato v West Coast, 2000 and Lachie Munro, Auckland v North
Otago, 2008

Most penalties
7, Robbie Deans, Canterbury v Counties, 1984 and Cam McIntyre, Canterbury v Wellington, 2003

Most dropped goals
3, Ross Brown, Taranaki v Wanganui, 1964 and v North Auckland, 1964, Greg Coffey, Canterbury v Auckland, 1990, Andrew Mehrtens, Canterbury v Southland, 1995

Player Career Records

Most matches
57, Grant Fox, Auckland

Most points
932, Grant Fox, Auckland

Most tries
53, Terry Wright, Auckland

Shield History as at 1 July 2014

Union Won Lost Number of games as holder (includes loss)
Auckland 1902 1904 1
Wellington 1904 1905 5
Auckland 1905 1913 24
Taranaki 1913 1914 7
Wellington 1914 1920 16
Southland 1920 1921 2
Wellington 1921 1922 3
Hawke's Bay 1922 1927 25
Wairarapa 1927 1927 2
Manawhenua 1927 1927 3
Canterbury 1927 1928 2
Wairarapa 1928 1929 9
Southland 1929 1930 4
Wellington 1930 1931 2
Canterbury 1931 1934 16
Hawke's Bay 1934 1934 3
Auckland 1934 1935 2
Canterbury 1935 1935 6
Otago 1935 1937 9
Southland 1937 1938 1
Otago 1938 1938 6
Southland 1938 1947 12
Otago 1947 1950 19
Canterbury 1950 1950 1
Wairarapa 1950 1950 1
South Canterbury 1950 1950 1
North Auckland 1950 1951 3
Waikato 1951 1952 7
Auckland 1952 1952 1
Waikato 1952 1953 7
Wellington 1953 1953 6
Canterbury 1953 1956 24
Wellington 1956 1957 5
Otago 1957 1957 2
Taranaki 1957 1959 14
Southland 1959 1959 1
Auckland 1959 1960 3
North Auckland 1960 1960 2
Auckland 1960 1963 26
Wellington 1963 1963 1
Taranaki 1963 1965 16
Auckland 1965 1966 4
Waikato 1966 1966 1
Hawke's Bay 1966 1969 22
Canterbury 1969 1971 10
Auckland 1971 1971 2
North Auckland 1971 1972 7
Auckland 1972 1972 1
Canterbury 1972 1973 3
Marlborough 1973 1974 7
South Canterbury 1974 1974 2
Wellington 1974 1974 2
Auckland 1974 1976 11
Manawatu 1976 1978 14
North Auckland 1978 1979 6
Auckland 1979 1980 7
Waikato 1980 1981 9
Wellington 1981 1982 5
Canterbury 1982 1985 26
Auckland 1985 1993 62
Waikato 1993 1994 6
Canterbury 1994 1995 10
Auckland 1995 1996 4
Taranaki 1996 1996 2
Waikato 1996 1996 2
Auckland 1996 1997 7
Waikato 1997 2000 22
Canterbury 2000 2003 24
Auckland 2003 2004 5
Bay of Plenty 2004 2004 2
Canterbury 2004 2006 15
North Harbour 2006 2007 4
Waikato 2007 2007 1
Canterbury 2007 2007 2
Auckland 2007 2008 6
Wellington 2008 2009 6
Canterbury 2009 2009 5
Southland 2009 2010 7
Canterbury 2010 2011 3
Southland 2011 2011 3
Taranaki 2011 2012 8
Waikato 2012 2013 5
Otago 2013 2013 1
Hawke's Bay
2013 2013 1
Counties Manuaku
2013
2014 7
Hawke's Bay 2014 2015 12
Waikato 2015