|Not a member? Sign up now!|
The Otago University Rugby Football Club (OURFC) is still New Zealand's leading club in producing All Blacks.
The club, which celebrates its 125th anniversary with a reunion at Queen's Birthday weekend this year, would like to lay to refute once and for all any claims of other clubs to the title.
Auckland club Ponsonby, in particular, has tried to claim the title of the Kiwi club producing the most All Blacks over its history – but the historic record is clear.
The OURFC can confidently show that a grand sum of 67 players have gone on to become All Blacks before, during or after playing for the Varsity side – and no less than 44 have donned the black jersey while still a playing member of the club.
The club's current All Black is Adam Thomson, and the honour board also records such names as Chris Laidlaw, John Timu and All Black captains Ron Elvidge, David Kirk and Anton Oliver.
Ponsonby has, in its website and other offerings, claimed more than 50 players had become All Blacks while at the club, but University past president and historian Hugh Tohill has shot that information down several times in the past few years.
The position as it currently stands is:
OURFC 44 (All Blacks named while at the club), Ponsonby 37;
OURFC 67 (total number of players named in the national side either before, during or after their time with Varsity), Ponsonby 56.
The Otago University team can also add to its claim to fame having won the most senior championships – 49 to Ponsonby's 40.
Little wonder then, that the club is eagerly anticipating its 125th anniversary celebrations this Queen's Birthday weekend.
About 500 people are expected to attend the event, including many past players and coaches. Names of past payers and coaches who have already registered their intention to attending the event can be found on the club’s website, www.ourfc.co.nz.