ZB

Ex-Black Ferns captain makes history as new president of Auckland Rugby

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Tue, 14 Dec 2021, 4:04pm
(Photo / Photosport)
(Photo / Photosport)

Ex-Black Ferns captain makes history as new president of Auckland Rugby

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Tue, 14 Dec 2021, 4:04pm

Former Auckland and Black Ferns captain Seiuli Fiao'o Fa'amausili has been elected president of Auckland Rugby, becoming the first woman to hold the position in the union's history. 

The Marist Rugby Club stalwart is the most capped female Auckland Rugby player with 106 games in the blue and white hoops and 57 caps for the Black Ferns (tied most of all-time), including four successful Rugby World Cup campaigns. 

The detective constable by day has been a cornerstone in the legacy of female and Pasifika rugby in New Zealand representing the union from 1999-2018, winning 15 domestic championships with Auckland. 

The appointment of Fa'amausili comes after Saveatama Eroni Clarke's three-year term as Auckland Rugby chair Stu Mather commended Fa'amausili on the service she has already given the union as a player and coach and looks towards a year of opportunities for rugby in Auckland. 

"Firstly, I would like to congratulate Fiao'o on her election. Fiao'o has such a rich history with the union and as a board, we are looking forward to navigating through what is going to be an exciting year of rugby in Auckland with Rugby World Cup 2021." 

Former Auckland captain and All Black Keith Nelson was appointed Patron of the Auckland Rugby Life Members following the sad passing of Waka Nathan earlier this year. 

Nelson captained both Ponsonby and Auckland, representing the union 88 times. He was a teammate of Nathan's when he was selected for the All Blacks in 1962 to tour the British Isles. 

An Auckland Grammar old boy, Nelson moved to Dunedin to study dentistry where he represented Otago and the New Zealand Universities before making his way back to represent Auckland and finally retiring from playing in 1975. 

Keith's devotion to Auckland Rugby did not stop after retirement, he became the Match Day Dentist for more than 20 years and went on to become Patron of the Ponsonby Rugby Club frequently seen down at the club supporting his grandchildren. 

AJ Whetton was awarded life membership to the union and acknowledged for his years of service to rugby within the region. 

Whetton joins his brother (Gary) and several former teammates as life members. The Grammar TEC clubman played 65 games for the All Blacks and 152 games for Auckland. 

Whetton was a menacing loose forward and was a member of the Auckland team with the record tenure of the Ranfurly Shield, holding the 'Log o' Wood' for 61 consecutive matches between 1985-1993. 

Auckland Rugby also announced a near break-even result for the year, a remarkable result considering they were excluded from completing both the Farah Palmer Cup and 
the NPC, with previous forecasted losses of around $750,000. 

Chris Fairbairn, chair of the commercial sub-committee, said: "Auckland Rugby has been around for 138 years and wants to be around for the same again. The genuine partnerships between our commercial team and their sponsors has delivered a result few considered possible given the impacts on our season."