HISTORY

Waikato was one of the founding provinces for the Chiefs as both team play out of the same home venue, FMG Stadium Waikato, and both teams use the same colours of Red, Yellow and Black.

In 1921 the Waikato Rugby Union is formed after lengthy negotiations between sub-unions. Waikato first played in black and white, blue and white colours before 1928 when the province adopted its new colours of red, yellow and black. They are a combination of the club jerseys of Hamilton (gold and black) and Old Boys (red and black).

Jack Tuck becomes Waikato's first All Black in 1929 - a utility back who played in tests against Australia. Waikato would then go on to produce 20 Black Ferns and 66 All Blacks including famous Chiefs like Liam Messam, Sitiveni Sivitvatu, Damian McKenzie and Anton Lienert-Brown.

Waikato first Ranfurly Shield Challenge was unsuccessful against Canterbury in 1930, the first time any Waikato team had played in the South Island. The province first successful challenge was against North Auckland in 1951. Since then Waikato has successfully challenged for the Ranfurly Shield 13 times with 60 successful defenses.

The first Waikato centurion was, Has Catley, who played his 100th game for the province in 1952. Since Catley another 21 players would join him as centurions for the province including Chiefs Matthew Cooper, Deon Muir and Rhys Duggan plus Chiefs coaching staff Ian Foster and Andrew Strawbridge.

In 1956 Waikato secured a famous 14-10 victory over the Springbok. The province would also have success beating countries like France, Australia, Fiji, Wales, Canada, Argentina, Scotland and most recently Italy.

In 1976 the National Provincial Championship was formed and Waikato is placed in the Second Division, four years later Waikato would be promoted to the First Division.
Waikato were crowned NPC Champions for the first time beating Otago 40-5 in the final at a packed out Rugby Park in 1992. The following year Waikato ends Auckland's record eight year Ranfurly Shield reign with a 17-6 win at Eden Park and also beat the British Lions 38-10 in a famous victory in the same year.

Waikato was crowned national champions for a second time in 2006, when they beat Wellington 37-31 in the final of the inaugural Air New Zealand Cup at FMG Stadium Waikato.
After being relegated in 2017, Waikato would bounce back the following year to win the Mitre 10 Cup Championship.

 

Gallagher Chief Damian McKenzie