Out of Waikato's 2006 Air New Zealand Cup winning team, five players had represented Te Awamutu Sports and these five had all played international rugby.
Sixteen members of the 22 had represented the All Blacks, one represented Ireland, nine played for the Māori All Blacks and five played for the New Zealand Sevens team.
In the wider Waikato squad there were also the likes of former Ireland and British and Irish Lions player, Jared Payne and Samoan international Loki Crichton.
Their opposition was also a team full of internationally experienced players.
This Mooloos team defeated the Wellington Lions 37-31 at Waikato Stadium, now known as FMG Stadium, on October 21, 2006.
This was Waikato's first national title since 1992.
Waikato 37 - Tries: Byron Kelleher (2), Richard Kahui, Brendon Leonard.
Conversions: David Hill (4). Penalties: David Hill (3).
Wellington 31 - Tries: Ma'a Nonu (2), Tana Umaga
Conversions: Jimmy Gopperth (2). Penalties: Jimmy Gopperth (4).
WAIKATO MOOLOOS - AIR NEW ZEALAND CUP FINAL:
15. MILS MULIAINA
Born: 1980 Waikato Matches: 7 Waikato Career: 2006-2010 Representative teams: All Blacks and New Zealand Sevens
These days, Muliaina is an analyst and commentator on Sky Sport's rugby coverage.
14. SOSENE ANESI
Born: 1981 Waikato Matches: 91 Waikato Career: 2003-2010 Representative teams: All Blacks, Samoan Sevens and New Zealand Sevens
Anesi last played for the Timisoara Saracens in Romania and was the first All Black to play in the SuperLiga. He then coached them for the 2018-2019 season.
13. RICHARD KAHUI
Born: 1985 Waikato Matches: 36 Waikato Career: 2004-2011 Representative teams: All Blacks and Māori All Blacks
Kahui has still been plying his trade over in Japan. He was named captain of the Toshiba Brave Lupus squad for the 2019-2020 seasons playing alongside the likes of Japanese captain Michael Leitch and former All Black Matt Todd. The Japanese Top League season was cancelled due to Covid-19.
12. DAVID HILL
Born: 1978 Waikato Matches: 62 Waikato Career: 2001-2006
Representative teams: All Blacks and Māori All Blacks
Hill is one of the Gallagher Chiefs assistant coaches for the 2020 season. He is in charge of skill development.
11. SITIVENI SIVIVATU
Born: 1982 Waikato Matches: 30 Waikato Career: 2004-2011 Representative teams: All Blacks and Pacific Islanders
After retiring in 2016, Sivivatu took on the role of technical advisor and foreign player liaison with his former club Castres in France.
10. STEPHEN DONALD
Born: 1983 Waikato Matches: 60 Waikato Career: 2004-2016 Representative teams: All Blacks
In 2019, Donald returned to the Chiefs as injury cover from overseas and played two matches off the bench. He was also a co-commentator on Spark Sport and TVNZ during the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
9. BYRON KELLEHER
Born: 1976 Waikato Matches: 14 Waikato Career: 2004-2006 Representative teams: All Blacks
Kelleher has been living between Bali and New Zealand in recent years. He runs his own tourism business with his fiancée, 'Fly me to paradise'.
8. SIONE LAUAKI
Born: 1981 Waikato Matches: 21 Waikato Career: 2005-2009 Representative teams: All Blacks and Pacific Islanders
Lauaki passed away in February 2017 due to suspected heart and kidney problems.
7. MARTY HOLAH
Born: 1976 Waikato Matches: 87 Waikato Career: 1999-2014 Representative teams: All Blacks and Māori All Blacks
Marty Holah is a co-owner of Holah Homes in Hamilton. Holah Homes is a designer home construction company that was founded by father Alan and grandfather Clyde in 1962.
6. STEVEN BATES (C)
Born: 1980 Waikato Matches: 75 Waikato Career: 2002-2007 Representative teams: All Blacks
Bates was assistant coach for second placed Auckland at the 2019 Jock Hobbs Memorial National Under-19 tournament after previously being involved with the North Harbour team for two years.
5. KEITH ROBINSON
Born: 1976 Waikato Matches: 29 Waikato Career: 2002-2006 Representative teams: All Blacks
Robinson was last known to be a farmer in the Te Aroha area.
4. JONO GIBBES
Born: 1977 Waikato Matches: 64 Waikato Career: 2000-2007 Representative teams: All Blacks and Māori All Blacks
After coaching Waikato in 2018, Gibbes became Director of Rugby at La Rochelle in France.
3. NATHAN WHITE
Born: 1981 Waikato Matches: 77 Waikato Career: 2002-2011 Representative teams: Ireland
In recent years White has been a forwards coach with the Waikato Squad, Chiefs Under 20 and helped coach the Waikato XV in 2020.
2. TOM WILLIS
Born: 1979 Waikato Matches: 26 Waikato Career: 2004-2007 Representative teams: All Blacks
Willis has been a solicitor for Gallaway Cook Allan Lawyers in Dunedin since 2012.
1. CRAIG WEST
Born: 1980 Waikato Matches: 30 Waikato Career: 2002-2008 Representative teams: Māori All Blacks
West retired in 2009 and rejoined his former employer, Downer New Zealand. He is now the executive general manager for transport infrastructure services.
16. SCOTT LINKLATER
Born: 1979 Waikato Matches: 56 Waikato Career: 2002-2006 Representative teams: Māori All Blacks
Linklater has been a personal trainer and is now the Northland Regional Manager of Whangarei Aquatic Centre.
17. ALED DE MALMANCHE
Born: 1984 Waikato Matches: 57 Waikato Career: 2005-2011 Representative teams: All Blacks and Māori All Blacks
Aled de Malmanche has been the Engineering Technician – Integrated Catchment Management at Waikato Regional Council since 2018 after returning from France.
18. TOBY LYNN
Born: 1984 Waikato Matches: 76 Waikato Career: 2004-2011 Representative teams: N/A
Lynn was last known to be living in Western Australia after he had represented the Western Force in Super Rugby during 2012-2013.
19. LIAM MESSAM
Born: 1984 Waikato Matches: 85 Waikato Career: 2003-2015 Representative teams: All Blacks, Māori All Blacks and New Zealand Sevens
This year, Messam had been playing for Toulon in France before Covid-19 disbanded the Top 14 competition.
20. BRENDON LEONARD
Born: 1985 Waikato Matches: 64 Waikato Career: 2005-2013 Representative teams: All Blacks
In 2018, Leonard returned from Europe to play for Taranaki. He now works for Anchor Dairy in New Plymouth.
21. DWAYNE SWEENEY
Born: 1984 Waikato Matches: 103 Waikato Career: 2002-2019 Representative teams: Māori All Blacks and New Zealand Sevens
Sweeney played his 100th match for Waikato in 2019 and in 2020 he was named in the China Lions squad for Global Rapid Rugby before Covid-19 cut their season short. On July 4, 2020, Sweeney played his 100th game for Morrinsville Sports.
22. ROY KINIKINILAU
Born: 1980 Waikato Matches: 23 Waikato Career: 2006-2007 Representative teams: New Zealand Sevens
Kinikinilau has been a contractor for his company K6 Limited in the Wellington and Wairarapa regions since 2016.
Coach - Warren Gatland
Head coach of the Gallagher Chiefs and will coach the British and Irish Lions for a third consecutive tour in 2021.
WELLINGTON LIONS - AIR NEW ZEALAND CUP FINAL
1 Joe McDonnell
2 Mo Schwalger
3 John Schwalger
4 Ross Filipo
5 Luke Andrews
6 Jerry Collins
7 Ben Herring
8 Rodney So'oialo
9 Piri Weepu
10 Jimmy Gopperth
11 Cory Jane
12 Tana Umaga ©
13 Conrad Smith
14 Ma'a Nonu
15 Shannon Paku
16 Luke Mahoney
17 Anthony Perenise
18 Jeremy Thrush
19 Chris Masoe
20 Alby Mathewson
21 Miah Nikora
22 Lome Fa'atau
Coach John Plumtree
*COVID-19 MAY HAVE AFFECTED MORE OF THESE THAN NOTED