The Auckland Rugby Union continue to look towards the future while acknowledging its history with the appointment of two Auckland Rugby legends while another awarded life membership to the Union at the 138th Annual General Meeting.
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 Faamausili comes after Saveatama Eroni Clarke’s three-year term as President comes to an end.
The Auckland Rugby Union Chair, Stu Mather commended Faamausili 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 is 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 Nathans 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 playing for Ponsonby.
AJ Whetton has been 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 of the Union. 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.
On top of a range of momentous announcements Auckland Rugby announced a near break-even result for the year, remarkable considering they were excluded from completing both the Farah Palmer Cup and Bunnings Warehouse NPC.
Faced with a forecasted loss of around $750,000 at times through the year, the virtually unanimous support of Commercial Partners has put Auckland Rugby in a position where they have posted only a minor loss.
Chris Fairbairn, Chair of the Commercial Sub-Committee says “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”.
Jarrod Bear, Auckland Rugby CEO referenced several times throughout the AGM how important Commercial Partners are to Auckland Rugby.
“Our Partners across the board have been absolutely fantastic in their support of Auckland Rugby and none more so than Barfoot & Thompson who deliver so much to our organisation and community sport across Auckland” said Bear.