Rugby, A New Zealand History


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Rugby is New Zealand’s national sport. 

From the grand tour by the 1888 Natives to the 2015 World Cup, from games in the North African desert in the Second World War to matches behind barbed wire during the 1981 Springbok tour; New Zealanders have claimed rugby as their own.

In Rugby – A New Zealand History, historian and former journalist Ron Palenski tells the full story of rugby in New Zealand for the first time.

Rooted in extensive research in public and private archives and newspapers, and highly illustrated with many rare photographs and ephemera, this book is the defining history of rugby in a land that has made the game its own.

Learn about how the game travelled from England and settled in the colony, how M?ori and later Pacific players made rugby their own, how battles over amateurism and apartheid threatened the sport, how national teams, provinces and local clubs shaped it.

But above all, you will read of wing forwards and fullbacks, of Don Clarke and Jonah Lomu, of the Log of Wood and Charlie Saxton’s ABC, of supporters in the grandstand and crackling radios at 2am – everything that makes rugby as we know it, what it is.


  • Hardback
  • 462 pages
  • Dimensions: 27 x 22.4cm




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