A group of former players assembled in Hamilton on Saturday night for the first New Zealand Rugby Players Association 'Rugby Club' event of 2016.  

The retired players gathered to watch the Chiefs v Highlanders match at FMG Stadium in Waikato, sharing some laughs and reliving special memories from their playing days.

Former New Zealand Maori captain, Chief, Blues and Counties Manukau Steelers captain Errol Brain said “It was a great night as there was a good spread of guys across the ages who at some stage had played Professional rugby over the last 20 years.

“Some of the guys I hadn’t seen for a long time so it was really good to catch up in a relaxing environment.  I just want to say thanks to Sumo (Keith Lowen), David Hill, and the NZRPA for running such a top night.”

Tim Weston from the NZRPA said “Rugby builds great friendships and it is brilliant for these players to re-connect, plus meet different aged former players. It's an opportunity to share stories about their experiences both on and off the field, their transition out of sport, and find out what keeps them busy now.“ 

The NZRPA Rugby Club has been designed to establish a thriving network of retired New Zealand Professional Rugby Players. It provides opportunities to reconnect with the camaraderie that rugby offers, valuable networking opportunities, and support and advice.  Events are planned to be held on an annual basis. 

There are four more events planned across New Zealand.  The events  with Auckland on 28 May, Christchurch (1 July) and Dunedin (15 or 16th July TBC) and a date for Wellington to be confirmed.  For more information email tim.weston@nzrpa.co.nz.

“It was a great night as there was a good spread of guys across the ages who at some stage had played Professional rugby over the last 20 years. Some of the guys I hadn’t seen for a long time so it was really good to catch up in a relaxing environment." - Errol Brain former player