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Wellington: The Axemen

Founded in 1870, the Wellington Football Club (the Axemen) is Wellington's oldest rugby club and the second oldest in New Zealand. The Nelson Club had been formed a few months previously, but went into recession several times whilst the Wellington Club has fielded a team every winter Saturday since its formation in 1870 - making it the oldest playing through rugby club In New Zealand.

As such the club has a rich history, which is preserved and displayed in their museum of rugby memorabilia at their clubrooms at Hataitai Park, second only in size to the New Zealand Rugby Museum in Palmerston North.

The club's founder, Captain JCR Isherwood of the 69 Foot Regiment who had been fighting in the Native Land Wars, bestowed on the Wellington Football Club the black and gold colours of his regiment accompanied with the regiment's motif, a rampant chained lion and an axe.

Isherwood went on to found the Athletic Rugby Club in 1878, with these two original clubs the basis of the formation of the Wellington Rugby Football Union in 1879, and the black and gold colours also went on to become the colours of the City and of all Wellington sporting teams.

Almost 30 All Blacks have played for the club over the years with 18 having been All Blacks whilst playing for the club. The first were Henry Roberts and Paddy Webb in the very first New Zealand team in 1884, and in fact Roberts was the first player to score for the All Blacks.

On two occasions during the 1930's the club also provided touring All Black captain and vice captain and against the 1930 Lions fielded 3 club members in a Test.

Their three most recent All Blacks were Murray Mexted who played for them between 1976 and 1985, Murray Pierce who played for them from 1980 to 1990 and Dion Waller in 2001. In 1985 the club also fielded two All Blacks in Mexted and Pierce and apart from the Waitete Club in King Country - home of the Meads brothers - the club had the record of having had an All Black in consecutive test sides from 1979 to 1990 when Pierce retired.

Other post-World War Two All Blacks were Ray Dalton (1947), Ron Horsley (1960-63-64) and Graham Williams (1967-68).

Past Black Ferns who have played for the club's women's teams include Shona Ballinger, Erin Rush, Karin Blue and Melodie Robinson.

The Wellington Club has placed a senior side on the field every year since 1870, although sadly their fortunes have declined over the last two decades since winning the Jubilee Cup in 1982 (shared with Petone), 1983, 1985 and 1987 and the Swindale Shield in 1982, 1984 and 1985. They also shared the Swindale Shield with Petone in 1972 and won other Jubilee Cups in 1939, 1947, 1972 (shared with Athletic) and 1978 (shared with Marist St.Pat's).

This year the club is fielding teams in the Senior 2, Senior 3, U85kg and Presidents grades.

The Wellington FC boasts one of the best sporting facilities in the province, including a full size basketball court, indoor artificial grass surface, fully equipped gym facilities, all year around use of part of the outdoor grass surface, and fully licensed bar and kitchen facilities are available for members use.

For more information visit their website:



Results from games played:
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Date Competition Round Team 1 Score 1 Team 2 Score 2
2017-04-22 Swindale Shield 6 Wellington: The Axemen 26 Poneke: Premier 59
2017-04-15 Swindale Shield 5 Wellington: The Axemen 3 Ories: Premier 24
2017-04-08 Swindale Shield 4 Wellington: The Axemen 7 Tawa: Premier 45
2017-04-01 Swindale Shield 3 Wellington: The Axemen 17 Norths: Premier 35
2017-03-25 Swindale Shield 2 Wellington: The Axemen 24 Upper Hutt Rams: Upper Hutt Ra ... 50
2017-03-18 Swindale Shield 1 Wellington: The Axemen 37 J'ville: Premier 27
2016-07-23 Jubilee Cup Premier 7 Wellington: The Axemen 7 Marist St Pats: Premier 27
2016-07-16 Jubilee Cup Premier 6 Wellington: The Axemen 25 Ories: Premier 25
2016-07-09 Jubilee Cup Premier 5 Wellington: The Axemen 8 Tawa: Premier 21
2016-07-02 Jubilee Cup Premier 4 Wellington: The Axemen 25 OBU: Premier 36
2016-06-25 Jubilee Cup Premier 3 Wellington: The Axemen 32 Poneke: Premier 30
2016-06-18 Jubilee Cup Premier 2 Wellington: The Axemen 31 Upper Hutt Rams: Upper Hutt Ra ... 15
2016-06-11 Jubilee Cup Premier 1 Wellington: The Axemen 14 Wainui: Premier 15
2016-06-04 Swindale Shield 13 Wellington: The Axemen 33 Wainui: Premier 26
2016-05-28 Swindale Shield 12 Wellington: The Axemen 37 HOBM: Premier 0
2016-05-21 Swindale Shield 11 Wellington: The Axemen 25 Norths: Premier 26
2016-05-14 Swindale Shield 10 Wellington: The Axemen 35 Poneke: Premier 13
2016-05-07 Swindale Shield 9 Wellington: The Axemen 15 Ories: Premier 52
2016-04-30 Swindale Shield 8 Wellington: The Axemen 43 Pare-Plim: Premier 10
2016-04-27 Swindale Shield 7 Wellington: The Axemen 16 Petone: Premier 9
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