New Zealand has over 500 rugby clubs which makes selecting a 'First XV of classics', an endeavour sure to stir spirited discussion. Our selection criteria was based on All Blacks produced, championships won, history, uniqueness and rivalry.

We have tried to avoid, where possible, Marist clubs, High School Old Boys' and Varsity clubs because they represent massive institutions (the Catholic church; traditional single-sex state education networks; universities) rather than community.

Christchurch HSOB warrants a place on the list due to their unique reputation of being a first-five factory and there's a certain varsity club that also makes an appearance through sheer weight of All Blacks and its indelible part of that particular province's rugby history.

The list is subjective and those clubs who feel aggrieved by their omission should write in for a potential redux in 2021.

Our First XV of classic Kiwi clubs will be rolled out three a week over five weeks.


North Shore Rugby Football Club




High School Old Boys (Christchurch)

North Shore Rugby Football Club




Home: Vauxhall Domain, Vauxhall Road, Devonport

Provincial Union: North Harbour (formerly Auckland)

Championships: 7