Petone RFC was founded in 1885, located near Wellington, New Zealand. The club is famed for its competitiveness and its social attributes and holds close ties with Hillhead Jordanhill RFC, initiated in 1995 with the arrival of Matt Lee at Hughenden. Petone RFC has to date produced 30 All Blacks and 16 NZ Maori representatives including Andy Leslie (NZ Rugby Union President in 2007 and 2008) and Tana Umaga who have both captained the international side. They have also produced many players for the NZ Womens Black Ferns. In addition, players have also represented Scotland, England, Italy, Tonga, Australia, Samoa, Sweden, Spain and the British and Irish Lions. John and Martin Leslie have worn the dark blue of Scotland with distinction and now Nick Grigg has received his first cap.
With the British and Irish Lions touring, the club had organised festivities in the lead up to the second test at Westpac Stadium. This included a Māori Hangi evening, Golf day, Craft ale beer tasting and Test referees Q&A. It was in the back drop of the referees Q & A session that a HJRFC reunion was organised. This provided past and present players / coaches of Hills and Petone to meet, reminisce and celebrate the connection of the clubs. This night also had appearances from Gavin Hastings, Ricky Flutely, Nick Grigg and even the current Lions physio and Hills centre during the 1990s, Bob Stewart. The night was kicked off by the Petone RFC president Jon Roper welcoming everyone to the club but also gave special mention to the ties with Hillhead Jordanhill RFC. Below are some of the past and present players:
John “Zinny” McCormick: Second Row for Hills through the 90’s. Petone Club Manager.
Bob Stewart: Centre, played for Hills in the 90’s. England and British Lions Physio.
Jason Adamson: Hooker, played in the 90’s for Hills, capped by Samoa.
Tama McGrath: Centre, played for Hills in the 90’s, now lives in Napier.
Paul Assur: Winger, Played in the 90’s for Hills. Now involved in coaching
Matt Lee: Player/Coach, Hills 1995 – 1999 former Petone and Hutt Old Boys Marists. Now coaching Wellington Lions and St Patricks School.
Iain MacCallum: Prop 1987 – 1997, also coached Hills Ladies and Lenzie. Coached Riverton Junior rugby.
Emma MacCallum: 1998 – 1999 Hills Ladies now GP in Riverton.
Hector McIntyre: Present Hills player.
Harry Preston: Present Hills player.
Andy Leslie: Petone player, All Black captain early 70s > Father played for Hibs and sons Martin and John played for Scotland and Edinburgh. The boys were often at Hughenden due to Matt Lee.
Martin Malone: Present Hills player.
Rory Dunro: Second Row, played 1998 season with Hills former Petone player.
Set up as a club for families and all the community they hold matches from mini through to very successful Senior Men’s and Woman’s teams. As their 2017 season comes to a close four of their teams have so far reached semi-finals.
More information about Petone RFC can be found here: www.petonerugby.com. We would encourage any Hills player and supporter to visit Petone if they are venturing to New Zealand. Having had a great experience at Petone, we would encourage any Hills players or supporters to visit the club if you are in the area.
Hillhead Jordanhill RFC would like to invite those from Petone who may be visiting Glasgow to come along to support or play!