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The First XV of classic NZ rugby clubs

15 classic Kiwi rugby clubs whose battle for local supremacy remains as urgent as ever.

New Zealand has more than 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 warrant a place on the list due to their unique reputation of being a first five factory and Otago University 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.