How our club began in an old bacon curing room at the Hautapu dairy factory

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Founded more than a century ago, the Hautapu Sports Club has become one of the strongest and most respected clubs in the Waikato.

The spirit, skill, character, commitment and fortitude characteristic of the Hautapu club will continue to stand us in good stead for the future.

Our history

Established in 1903

The Hautapu Rugby Club started in the old bacon curing room at the Hautapu dairy factory in 1903.

Men sat around on milk cans while Jack Cowling chaired.

The club’s original colours were red and black but changed to red and white with black shorts.

The first team was: Roy Crickett, Arthur Kelly, Durham Ashwin (captain), Charlie Shaw, Phil Goodwin, Cecil Ashwin, Arthur Healey, George Beer, Jack Cowling, Humphrey Russell, Jack Russell, Gibb Watt, Jack Milne, Ned Hall, and Tui Rangi. Jerry Allwill gave the team use of a field adjacent to the Hautapu railway station.

Main photo: The 1903 Hautapu team.

Jack Cowling took on the role of player-coach.

They rarely won, but it was noted that Hautapu always came up smiling.

Important milestones

1918: The club was reformed after the First World War in 1918

1928: The club celebrated the arrival of outstanding administrator and personality Tom Turnbull in 1928

1948: The club’s first All Black and club member Keith Arnold was made Waikato captain in 1948

1968: The club established itself in the Waikato wide competition in 1968.

1988: The club won the Waikato third division championship in 1988.

1998: The club triumphed in the Waikato first division championship for the first time in 1998.

Read the match programme from 1998

Click on the image below to read the publication online:

Read our 75th Jubilee book

Click on the image below to read our 1978 jubilee book online:

More about our history

Click here to see our photographic journey through our past >>>>

Click here to see our club’s Roll of Honour >>>>