LIFE MEMBERS

Simon Johnston

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Johnno saw the light and joined the Club in 1984 from the Grammar Rugby Club. Johnno played reserve grade at loose forward and prop for 3 years and played in the Clubs 10 aside ( now 7’s ) teams for 2 years. He commenced his managing roles of the Seniors (now called Premiers) from 1986 for the Ken Baguley coached team. He was also a member of the successful and talented Old Blues Presidents team in the mid 1990’s. Between the Premiers and Under 21’s, Johnno has managed these teams, with a few years off in between right through to 2011. Johnno sat on the Club’s committee from 1987 through to 1993, serving as Club Captain in 1988, the Clubs Centennial year. In this time he has managed 2 Gallaher Shield winning teams (1987 and 1997) plus the U21’s in 1991. Johnno is a very proud and vocal supporter and friend of the University teams and players. In an unofficial capacity, Johnno has been the Club’s Referee’s Relationship Officer. As a friend of John Drake, he is a Trustee of the John Drake Memorial Scholarship set up in 2009.

Chris Seagar


Elected at the 2010 AGM. Chris played for University between 1975 and 1980 with a year away overseas in 1979. He joined the Senior Committee in 1983 and served as Club Captain from 1984 to 1988 during which time the club enjoyed great success winning Gallagher Shields in 1984 and 1987 and celebrating it’s Centenary in 1988. In 1995 Chris and others founded the University Junior Rugby Club with Chris as it’s inaugural President between 1995 and 2000 . The growth of the Junior club has been instrumental in widening the club’s player base and assisting University to successfully evolve into a community based rugby club. Chris remained on the Junior Committee in an advisory role until 2010 and has assisted the Club in property matters over a number of years.

Mike Begley (Deceased 2018)


Played U21s, Senior Reserves, Seniors 1972-80. Fingletoads and Old Blues in 1980s. Made a Wynyard Club member in 1978 to set up and run the bar in the new club rooms. Coached/managed U19s and U21s 1988-91. Senior manager 1992-94. Senior committee 1980s to 1995. Formed University Junior Rugby Club in 1995 with four other fathers. Committee member from 1995 to 2010. President 2001-2003. Junior delegate on ARFU 2001-2010.

Peter McDermott (Deceased)

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Peter became a supporter of Varsity Rugby in the 1960s and through his company (Raymond Dale Wool) became a generous sponsor of the club at a time when sponsorship was in its infancy. Peter's son, John, played at No 8 for the club during the 1980s and was captain of the Gallaher Shield winning team in 1987.

Mike Cormack (Deceased 2012)

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Mike played 45 games at fullback for Auckland from 1960 to 1966 and was a member of the Gallaher Shield winning team in 1966. He headed the fundraising campaign that enabled the club to build its clubrooms at Colin Maiden Park, coached the Seniors for a number of years and was President from 1987-88.

Hinga Smith (Deceased May 2016)


Since the 1970s Hinga has been a loyal supporter and servant of University rugby. He has acted as baggage man, scoreboard operator, tourist and the ultimate supporter of any venture that the club enters into. Smithy served NZ in the Maori Battalion in the Second World War after using a mate's birth certificate to join the Army as a 16-year-old.

Bob Burnes


Bob played for the Seniors during the 1960s including the 1966 Gallaher Shield winning team. A renowned musician, he is also known to star (with wife Janet) at any rock-and-roll evening that the club chooses to stage. Bob served as President from 1984-86 and did 40 years of service as club solicitor.

Rob Fisher


Elected at the 2004 AGM, Rob first played for the University Under 19s in 1962 and in the ensuring years played for championship winning teams in Under 21, Senior Reserves and Seniors (1971). He was instrumental in establishing the Fingletoads and toured Ireland with the Old Blues in 1984. Fish was a founder of the Wynyard Club who ran the bar in pre-licensing days and served as club solicitor during the time the clubrooms were being built. He became Varsities delegate to Auckland Rugby in 1982, became Chairman of Auckland in 1990 and then Chairman of the New Zealand Rugby Union in 1996. Rob became the first New Zealander to be elected (based on votes rather than being appointed by rotation) to the position of Deputy Chairman of the IRB in 1995.

Barrie Hutchinson


Elected at the 2005 AGM. Played for Victoria and Auckland Universities and was a member of the 1956 NZU side that beat the touring South African side in 1956. Played 27 games for Auckland from 1954 to 1959. Coached the Seniors from 1969 to 1972 including a Gallaher Shield victory in 1971. Club President 1974-75. A renowned orator who was responsible for introducing poetry as a motivational tool in team talks. Vice President of the ARFU from about 1990. 'Hutch' served NZ in the Navy during the Second World War as an 18-year-old.

Ken Baguley


Elected at the 2006 AGM. Played for U19s, U21s, Seniors 1966-77, Old Blue on tour to Ireland 1984. Coached U21s 1982-83, Senior Reserves 1984, Seniors 1985-1987 (Gallaher Shield), Selector, Coach and Manager for NZU 1988-1992. Treasurer 1963-1964, Committee 1965-1977, Club Captain 1978-79, Club President 1992-94, Delegate for University on ARFU 1990-1998, Chairman of Council of Delegates 1999-2001, Chairman ARFU Board of Directors 2002-08.

Rob Hargrave


Elected at the 2006 AGM. Played for U21s, Seniors 1964-67, Senior Reserves, Senior C, Fingletoads, Coached U21s 1982-83, Senior Reserves 1984, Auckland U85kg Coach 2000 to 2005, Treasurer/Club Secretary/Committee from 1965-1980s, Club President 1995-97.

John Kirkby


Elected at 2006 AGM. Played all of his senior rugby in Wellington for Victoria University and Wellington. Migrated to Auckland in late 1970s. Toured Ireland with the Old Blues in 1984. Became an "iconic" MC of Varsity dinners and luncheons from 1995-2006. With up to 800 people attending, the luncheons became an essential part of the pre-test activities in Auckland and largely on the back of Kirky's skills as a humorous and irreverent Master of Ceremonies.

Bryce Rope ( Deceased February 2013 )



Elected at 2006 AGM. Played for University following service in the Second World War. Played 21 games for Auckland from 1947-1952. Coached Seniors during the early 1950s. Led the Seniors on their tour of California in January 1967. All Black coach from 1983-84 - won 9, lost 2 for a 81% record. The first coach of a New Zealand 7s side. Club President 1965-67.

Phil Lindesay


Elected at 2006 AGM. Played for Seniors from 1965-74. Played for Counties in 1964 and then played 93 games for Auckland from 1965-73. Coached Seniors with Mike Cormack from 1978-1980, President 1989-91. Treasurer and Vice President (2005-06) of Barbarians Rugby Club. 'Lizard' was a tough and uncompromising lock and prop for Varsity in a period where the Seniors won three Gallaher Shields from 1966 to 1974.

David Jones


David came to AURFC in 1991 after years of playing and committee roles at VUWRFC. Immediately he coached the reserve grade and the in 1993 and 1994 the premiers. He served as an NZU selector. He was a committee member for at least 15 years with 3 of those as President. He had roles both alone and through his firm A J Park as a sponsor and financial supporter of the club.

Ian Mckenzie


“Mac” as he is known to most at AURFC, joined the club in 1991 and was made a life member in 2007. Mac has managed most teams within the club; Under 19s, Under 21s, Reserves & finishing with the Premiers in 2001. Mac also has been, since 1994, responsible for organising the annual club luncheon at Eden Park which is attended by over 800 people each year. It is the largest pre rugby test luncheon in NZ. He was Club President from 2003-2006 and is a wealth of knowledge on all things relating to the Varsity Club. He is the quiet voice of reason on the committee on which he has served since 1994. In 2007 the ARFU awarded him the Barrie Connell trophy for outstanding Club Administrator of the Year.

Trevor Fry


Trevor worked tirelessly as a Coach and promoter of Varsity as the preferred club for aspiring Under 21 Grade players leaving school. He coached the Under 21's to many Championships during the 1960's and for over 30 years was the initial point of contact for players leaving school. He also acted as the Honorary Electrician to the club and the lights that still stand at the ACC ground in Shore Road are a lasting example of his skills.

Tony Aston


Richard Cawson

Cliff Lyon