West Coast Rugby Football Union
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Where are we from ? Well , the rough and tumble of football was popular in colonial times, and nowhere more so than on the South Island’s rugged West Coast, the domain of miners and bushmen. In the closing decades of the nineteenth century, rugby as we know it today was still evolving.
Often games were a hybrid of other forms of football, with rules and team numbers decided on the day. As the rugby version of the game started to take hold, a West Coast Rugby Union based at Greymouth was established in 1890 (click here to see the announcement as published on the 26th May 1890). The logistics of playing rugby in an area where clubs were spread out over hundreds of kilometres led to a decision by the clubs in the Buller district to split from West Coast in 1894.
West Coast is one of the minnows of New Zealand rugby. In the closing decades of the twentieth century, many players moved away in search of work after mines and other industries closed.
West Coast currently competes in the Heartland Championship, a competition for New Zealand’s amateur and semi-professional provincial union.
Along with South and Mid Canterbury, Tasman, Buller and Canterbury, West Coast is part of the highly successful Crusaders Super Rugby franchise.