Counties Manukau Rugby Football Union was formed in 1955 to govern rugby union in the Southern Auckland and Franklin districts, spanning from Wiri through to Te Kauwhata.

The union’s first match was played on the 25th June, 1955 against Thames Valley at Waiuku when they were known as South Auckland Counties. The inaugural match, which marked the beginning of a new era full of rich history, was a close win to Counties, who scraped home with a score of 15 – 14.

The history of Counties has been very much about adventurous football, and over the years the teams and union have endeavoured to establish an identity. Rugby as a sport has provided the Counties Manukau region with a sense of pride, and the ‘sleeves rolled up and get into it’ mentality, driven by an endless band of willing volunteers has been the hallmark of Counties Manukau rugby.

The first great win for the union was taking out the first division NPC in 1979. Since then, the union has enjoyed some momentous wins, most recently the second division title in 2012 as well as winning the prestigious Ranfurly Shield for the first time in 2013.

Since 1999, the union has been aligned to the Chiefs, with Steelers players Etene Nanai-Seturo, Jonathan Taumateine, Nepo Laulala, Orbyn Leger and Daymon Leasuasu being involved in the 2019 Gallagher Chiefs Squad.

Errol Brian, the Steelers captain in the 1990s was the first captain of the Chiefs, and other notable Counties Manukau representative players in the Chiefs include Jonah Lomu, Stephen Donald, Glen Marsh, Koula Tukino, Kristian Ormsby, Sitiveni Sivivatu and Tana Umaga.

Visit Counties Manukau Rugby Union Site


Chiefs & Counties Manukau legend - Stephen Donald.