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16 Jun 2009

The Marist Brothers Old Boys Rugby Football Club Inc. is pleased to announce a 2 year trial merger with the Tamaki Rugby Football Club and for the 2009 rugby season to enter combined teams in the Auckland Senior Club Rugby competition.
The trial between the Ellerslie-based Marist club and the river-side Tamaki club will expand the depth of both proud organisations, allowing Marist which is currently experiencing significant player growth to have access to the five rugby grounds at the Mt Wellington War Memorial Reserve, in addition to the two fields and training strips at its main headquarters, Liston Park.
The club will enter 14 teams in the Auckland Rugby competitions, with teams competing in Premier, Premier Reserve, Senior 1, Women’s, Social, Under 21, and Under 19 grades. They will also have considerable presence in the Under 85kg grade with three teams and four teams in the President grades.
The 45 Marist and 12 Tamaki junior teams will retain their separate identities and colours.
The combined playing strength of in excess of 1000 players in all grades will make it one of the biggest in Auckland.
The trial merger will allow Marist to build on its excellent results in 2008, where the Under 19, Under 21, and Senior 1 teams won Auckland club championships with all three teams going through the season unbeaten. In addition the Women’s team was a grade finalist, while the Premier and Premier Reserve teams made semifinal appearances. The club took out the prestigious Silver Football Trophy the symbol of club supremacy in Auckland rugby.
Marist continues to welcome new players to join its ranks, with the teams currently training simultaneously at Liston Park and Mt Wellington War Memorial Reserve on Tuesday Wednesday and Thursday evenings from 6.30pm. Marist and Tamaki Juniors train at both grounds on Tuesday Wednesday and Thursday evenings from 4.00pm
The Auckland Marist Rugby Football Club has a proud 100 year tradition, having celebrated its Centenary in 2008 in commemoration of the club’s first annual meeting which was held on April 24, 1908.
From its ranks have come 29 All Blacks, including names that would be in consideration for any ‘All Time’ list, like Zinzan Brooke and New Zealand test try scoring record holders John Kirwan and Doug Howlett. It is the home club of incumbent All Black Isaia Toeava and current Blues players Kurtis Haiu and Peter Saili.
Rob Smyth the President of the Tamaki Rugby Club commented that “Tamaki Rugby is pleased that such a trial merger is the first step in what will ensure that Rugby will be played at the Mt Wellington War Memorial Reserve for many years to come. It will also provide a complete passage for players to progress from Ripper Rugby to Premier Grade and to expert Management and Coaching. It would follow that with time, the trial merger will lead to all sorts of opportunities and possible activities and sports being available at the Tamaki Club headquarters and grounds.
I, on behalf of Tamaki, would like to express my appreciation to the Executive and members of Marist for approving this trial merger. “