There is something special about the number two in the McRobbie family.

Certainly when it comes to rugby it is their lucky number, with three generations of the McRobbie clan playing hooker.

When Alan McRobbie led his team out on to Tauranga Domain to play his 150th Premier game for Tauranga Sports on Saturday, it was the latest celebration for an extraordinary rugby family's dedication to the hooking art.

His great-grandfather was coach of the Karaka Club in South Auckland when Alan's grandfather played hooker for the club and represented South Auckland, later to become Counties Manukau.


McRobbie's father, Graham, also played hooker for Karaka and represented the Counties union.

McRobbie grew up in Eastern Bay of Plenty, playing his junior rugby at Otakiri and Tai Mitchell for Whakatane. He played in the Trident High School First XV alongside All Blacks prop Kane Hames with the two later to link up again at Tauranga Sports.

He is not sure why he followed the family tradition to wear the No 2 jersey but has never wanted to play anywhere else.

"Right from the start I have just been hooker. I played soccer at primary school and from Tai Mitchell on have been at hooker."

McRobbie played for Bay of Plenty at under-16, under-18 and under-20 levels, plus the Bay Development side, but never quite made it into the Steamers squad.

The move to Tauranga came 10 years ago and after two seasons in the colts side he has been the starting hooker for Tauranga Sports ever since.

Alan McRobbie celebrates another win with son Braxton. Photo / File
Alan McRobbie celebrates another win with son Braxton. Photo / File

The undoubted highlights of his 150 games are winning four Baywide Premier championship titles under coaches Errol Brain, current Greerton Marist coach Ryan Dunnett and Mike Rogers (twice).

The last of those was three years ago with Rangataua Sports and Mount Maunganui Sports breaking the winning sequence.


McRobbie wants another title this season. He believes Tauranga Sports have the right mix of playing talent and coaching smarts to do it.

"I think this year everyone wants it more. Last year we missed out on the semis and that's not normal for us. We are hungry to make the finals this year."

A curious quirk of McRobbie's career is that he has never received a yellow or red card in all the years battling some of the toughest characters in Baywide rugby.

"I'm not aggressive enough," he laughed.

"Not had one yet. Will see how we go. I never really think about it but I try to stick to the rules.

"I have always loved playing rugby and while I continue to enjoy it will keep playing. There might be two or three years yet. It is always good to see the new players coming through."

McRobbie is the first to admit how lucky he is to have such a supportive wife in Lisa, who is sideline every match with their two sons Braxton, 3, and Mason, 18 months.

Long-term manager of Tauranga Sports Premier team Ron Henderson says McRobbie's "fellow players and team management regard him as incredibly loyal, trustworthy and totally committed to his team and Tauranga Sports".

High praise indeed for the sort of hardworking, dedicated player that grassroots sport is all about.