Former Hautapu stars take part in rugby rematch that took 101 years to stage

posted in: News, Rugby

Eight former Hautapu Sports players have taken part in a special game to re-enact Waikato’s first international rugby match against South Africa 101 years ago.

The Waikato Classics team beat the South African Buffalos in the special match played on November 26 at Hamilton’s Claudelands Park — the same venue that hosted the original match.

Between them, the former Hautapu players have represented Waikato more than 450 times.

The Hautapu players, and their Waikato records, were:

  • Todd Miller — (84 games, 1993-2004)
  • Keith Lowen — (83 games 1998-2005)
  • Damian Karauna — (50 games 1996-2000)
  • Isaac Boss — (58 games 1999-2005, 2016)
  • Liam Messam— (104 games 2003-2011, 2015, 2020-2022)
  • Jackson Willison — (60 games 2007-2013)
  • Luke Katene — (7 games 2014)
  • Jono Armstrong — (24 games 2012-2013, 2018)

The match was a central part of Waikato Rugby Union’s centenary celebrations.

Main photo: The Hautapu players who took part in the centennial match — Todd Miller, Keith Lowen, Damian Karauna, Isaac Boss, Liam Messam, Jackson Willison and Luke Katene. Absent from photo: Jono Armstrong (who was looking after his son when the photo was taken). Photo: Courtesy of Todd Miller.

Hautapu’s Paul Galleta, who was Waikato’s NPC manager between 2010-14, was the team manager for the Classics.

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