Auckland Rugby League

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The Auckland Rugby League (ARL) is the governing body for the sport of rugby league in the Auckland Region of New Zealand. It is responsible for rugby league in the region and was the owner of Carlaw Park, once the "spiritual home of rugby league in New Zealand".

The Auckland Rugby League was once recognised by England's Northern Rugby Football Union as New Zealand's governing body for the game of rugby league.

In 2009, the ARL celebrated its centenary.


  • 1 Club competitions
    • 1.1 Junior clubs
    • 1.2 Clubs
    • 1.3 Defunct or merged clubs
    • 1.4 Senior club trophies
    • 1.5 Roope Rooster
  • 2 National competitions
    • 2.1 Lion Red Cup
    • 2.2 Bartercard Cup/Premiership
  • 3 Representative team
  • 4 Auckland Warriors
  • 5 Auckland Vulcans
  • 6 See also
  • 7 References
  • 8 External links

Club competitions

For a full list of all past winners go to Auckland Rugby League club trophies.
ARL 1909-2009 centenary logo

Auckland's premier competition is the Fox Memorial Shield, competed for by Premier One teams. This has been contested since 1910. There are two other divisions below the Premier grade, namely the Sharman Cup which is fought for by Premier Two teams and the Phelan Shield, played for by Premier Three teams.

The first part of the season consists of the Lion Red Fox Memorial Preliminary Series before sides are graded into the Fox Memorial and Sharman Cup. Grade three teams automatically enter the Phelan Shield. The winner of the round robin in the premier One division wins the Rukutai Shield. Other key trophies include the Roope Rooster, which has been competed for since 1915, while a Champion of Champions was also awarded from 1925 until recent decades. Since 2006 the Roope Rooster has been contested as a Challenge trophy.

Junior clubs

Other clubs only run junior programmes. These include the Rodney Rams, Pukekohe Pythons & Waiheke Rams.


Bay Roskill Vikings, City Newton Dragons, East Coast Bays Barracudas, Ellerslie Eagles, Glenora Bears, Hibiscus Coast Raiders, Howick Hornets, Mangere East Hawks, Manukau Magpies, Manurewa Marlins, Marist Saints, Mount Albert Lions, Mount Wellington Warriors, Northcote Tigers, Otahuhu Leopards, Otara Scorpions, Pakuranga Jaguars, Papakura Sea Eagles, Papatoetoe Panthers, Point Chevalier Pirates, Ponsonby Ponies, Pukekohe Pythons, Richmond Bulldogs, Rodney Rams, Te Atatu Roosters, Waiheke Rams

Defunct or merged clubs

City and Newton merged in the early 1900s. City Newton later merged with Pt Chevalier to become 'City-Pt Chevalier'. Ponsonby and Maritime merged to become Ponsonby-Maritime (now known simply as Ponsonby Ponies). Navy merged with North Shore to become 'Navy/North Shore'. Other teams to cease include Grafton, Devonport, Western United, Eastern United, Southern Districts and Northern Districts.

Senior club trophies

The Fox Memorial is awarded to the grand final winner in Premier One. The Rukutai Shield is awarded to the team in first place at the end of the regular season in Premier One. The Roope Rooster was traditionally a pre-season knockout competition but changed format in 2006 (see below). The Stormont Shield is a champion of champions playoff between the Fox Memorial and Roope Rooster winners. The Kiwi Shield is awarded to the Premier One club with the most points scored from Premiers (x3) and Reserves (x1).

For a list of the major trophies awarded for in Auckland club Rugby League go to Auckland Club Rugby League Trophies (this includes player awards as well as team awards).

Fox Memorial Roope Rooster Sharman Cup Phelan Shield
2009 Mt Albert Mt Albert, Northcote, Otahuhu Howick Manukau
2010 Otahuhu Otahuhu East Coast Bays Pt Chev

Roope Rooster

In 2006 the Roope Rooster was successfully defended eleven times by the Mt Albert Lions.

Year Holders
2006 Mt Albert (11)
2007 Te Atatu (3) (17 March - 9 June), Richmond (3) (9 June - 8 July), East Coast Bays (8 July - 2008)
2008 Northcote, Mt Albert
2009 Mt Albert, Northcote (? - 16 August), Otahuhu (16 August - present)

National competitions

Lion Red Cup

When the Lion Red Cup was started in 1994 Auckland was originally represented by four teams. The Auckland City Vulcans, The Waitakere City Raiders, The Counties Manukau Heroes and the North Harbour Sea Eagles. In 1995 the Vulcans were replaced by the Auckland Warriors Colts. In 1996 Auckland City did not compete.

  • North Harbour won the competition in 1994 & 1995.
  • Counties-Manukau won the competition in 1996 and was runner up in 1994.
  • Auckland was runner up in 1995 & Waitakere was runner up in 1996.

Bartercard Cup/Premiership

Previously Auckland has had a large representation in the Bartercard Cup, however in its final seasons before it ceased to run Auckland was represented by the Auckland Lions, Waitakere Rangers, Harbour League, Counties Manukau Jetz and the Tamaki Titans.

  • The Mt Albert Lions won the competition in 2002, 2004 & 2005.
  • The Hibiscus Coast Raiders won the competition in 2001.
  • The Auckland Lions won the competition in 2006 & 2007.

With the folding of the Bartercard Cup, Auckland rugby league team was awarded a place in the new six-team Bartercard Premiership, beginning in 2008.

Representative team

Main article: Auckland rugby league team

Auckland has played against several touring teams over the years though once the Auckland Warriors started playing in 1995 it diluted the standard of the side and they have not played against full international sides in recent years.

Auckland famously beat Australia, England and France in the space of 21 days in 1977. A feat which the New Zealand Warriors commemorated by wearing replica strips in their Round 24 clash with the Manly Sea Eagles on 26 August 2007, when the Warriors won 36-14 in front of a packed Mount Smart Stadium.

Auckland also beat the touring Australian side in 1989 by 26 points to 24 at Carlaw Park.

Auckland represented New Zealand for most years in the Australian midweek competition (see Amco Cup) in the 1970s and 1980s. Central Districts, Canterbury, Wellington, and South Island also fielded teams [1].

Auckland representative sides traditionally wear a blue jersey with a white double 'V', in the same style of the New Zealand Kiwis jersey but with blue instead of black, this is still the jersey worn by the Auckland Vulcans NSW Cup team (see below).

Auckland Warriors

Auckland Rugby League originally owned the Auckland Warriors (now known as New Zealand Warriors) when they were entered into the 1995 Winfield Cup, run by the Australian Rugby League. The club is based at Ericsson Stadium. By 1998 the club had yet to experience any success and so was sold to a consortium including the Tainui tribe.

Auckland Vulcans

Auckland Lions Premier League players during at match against St George Illawarra

Run by the Rugby League Development Foundation, the Auckland Vulcans participate in the NSW Cup. In 2007 they were known as the Auckland Lions.

See also

  • National Rugby League
  • New Zealand Rugby League
  • Rugby league in New Zealand


External links

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