Northland Rugby Union's 100th birthday bash got under way in style last night with a who's who of Northland rugby legends.
Among those present at last night's event at Semenoff Stadium were New Zealand Rugby Union chief executive Mark Robinson and president Bill Osborne.
Current Taniwha player Ross Wright - who is one of only 24 North Auckland or Northland players to notch 100 provincial matches - was happy to see the former players and volunteers involved in the game at the event and to give them recognition.
''It's great to catch up with so many of them. It is very special to be coming together like this for this celebration,'' Wright said last night.
Former Northland Auckland player and All Black Wayne Neville thought it was wonderful to be able to celebrate the NRU's big birthday and catch up with so many former players and administrators.
Neville spoke about the differences in the game today and was full of praise for the fact player welfare is given far more prominence.
He was also pleased rugby provided a professional career these days - and predicted the Taniwha would win the NPC Championship this season.
The public will have several chances to mix and mingle with local rugby greats today when five cracker games, including the Johnny Isaac U15, U17, and U21 Māori, will be played.
Today's event at the stadium will start with the women's Farah Palmer trial match between North and South at 11am, followed by North v South U21, and a men's North v South game to pick players for Northland in this year's National Provincial Championship.
Entry fee for the three games is $10 for anyone over 15. Under-15s are free.
A display of rich rugby memorabilia for the public to view and learn about the history of Northland rugby will be open for viewing on Level 3 of the stadium, as well as in The Hub, today.
Flags commemorating all 24 North Auckland and Northland players to notch 100 matches, from Ted Thompson in 1967 to Ross Wright in 2020, have been hung on the poles in front of the stadium.