In terms of senior playing numbers, Old Boys-University is the largest club in Wellington and one of the largest in New Zealand. By 2007 OBU was fielding 19 teams and over 500 players represent the club each week. Being Wellington's university club there has never been a shortage of social sides playing under the OBU banner, and there has been a recent surge in age group teams playing for the club. They also field a women's team that plays in the Premier Women's competitions.
Tradition also plays a big role in the club that has been in existence as an amalgamation of two of the original clubs in Wellington, Wellington College Old Boys RFC (WCOB) and Victoria University RFC since the end of 1991. They were also known as Harlequins for several years in the 1990s before the name change to OBU.
Victoria University won the first Jubilee Cup contested in 1929 and WCOB won the first ever Hardham Cup in 1939. Recent successes have been as Hardham Cup winners in 1999, 2001 and 2009, as well as Jubilee Cup finalists in 2002. In April 2008 the club held a 50-year reunion for the former University players who won the 1958 Jubilee Cup. University sides of that era were strong, and their famous 1952-54 side featured four All Blacks including their most famous player Ron Jarden.
In an excellent initiative of awarding every Premier player (over 200 players) who have played for the amalgamated OBU club over fifteen seasons an individual ‘Cap Number', with their number of appearances, tries, penalties, conversions and dropped goals scored all included.
The club also recently redeveloped its formerly tired, muddy training field Boyd Wilson Field (see photo), situated just below Victoria University, into a state-of-the-art first-class training facility.?
There are training teams and non-training teams right through all the different grades, so there's a place for everyone. Aside from the premiers, seniors, womens, colts, U19s and Under 85kg restricted we've got a bunch of crazy social teams with names like the Sixty Niners, the Pink Ginners and the Teddybears.
OBU's clubrooms are at the Cambridge Hotel, down near the bottom end of Courtenay Place. We share the place with the Varsity Netball Club
The club's Academy runs during the off-season to give players, who are keen to move up the grades a chance to meet their goals.
To find out more visit their website: www.obu.org.nz