|Nickname(s) The Taranaki Bulls|
Most caps Ian Eliason (223)
Captain Charlie Ngatai
League Mitre 10 Cup
Top scorer Unattached
Coach Colin Cooper
Location Taranaki, New Zealand
Ground Yarrow Stadium
|Union New Zealand Rugby Union|
The Taranaki Rugby Football Union (known as the Taranaki Bulls for competition reasons) are a New Zealand governing body of rugby union in the New Zealand province of Taranaki. The main stadium is Yarrow Stadium which is located in New Plymouth. The union also represents the Taranaki Bulls, which is professional rugby union team who compete in the Mitre 10 Cup competition and contest for the Ranfurly Shield. Before 2006 the Bulls competed in the National Provincial Championship.
- The Dean Cup
- High performance
- Current squad
- Match Centurions
- Notable players (current and former players)
- Taranaki All Blacks
- All Black captains
On 25 October 2014 Taranaki won their first ITM Cup, defeating Tasman 36–32 in New Plymouth. This was the first time a team from outside the main population centres had won the premier New Zealand domestic rugby competition since Manawatu in 1980. Taranaki has won the NPC second division more than any other Union in New Zealand, a record that the club will keep now the NPC is defunct. Taranaki also plays for the Ryan Wheeler memorial trophy, a trophy played for annually with the Waikato Rugby Union.
In 2013, Taranaki changed its Super Rugby allegiance to the Chiefs, after severing ties with the Hurricanes, which it had been part of since 1996.
On May 31, 1889 the Hawera club convened a meeting in Hawera, of delegates from the Hawera, Waimate (Manaia), New Plymouth, Okaiawa, and Eltham clubs. This meeting agreed to form the Taranaki Union. During the year Stratford and Midhirst clubs united as Manganui club, Tikorangi and Waitara clubs combined as Clifton club, and Inglewood and New Plymouth Star clubs were and among others founded and became part of the union. By the turn of the century, Taranaki R.F.U. had produced eleven All Blacks, six of whom toured Great Britain in 1905. Taranaki currently plays in the professional Mitre 10 Cup, which it won in 2014.
For historical purposes the merged clubs are:
The schools that participate in these grades are:
The Taranaki Rugby Referee's Association is affiliated to the T.R.F.U. and provides referees for matches at all levels from high school, to the T.R.F.U. premier competition. The Taranaki Rugby Referee's Association has the backing of sponsor Farmlands.
Each year the TRRA names a Top Five. Top Five after the 2016 season is;
Paul Williams was not considered due to his Super Rugby commitments.
These five referees are involved as assistant referees and substitution controllers at the local Mitre 10 Cup, Super Rugby and international matches at Yarrow Stadium. They are also involved in local development and age-group representative matches as New Zealand Rugby Union have given most of the representative appointments back to the local provinces.
The Dean Cup
The Dean Cup is believed to be the oldest competition trophy still being played for in the sport of rugby union. Played for between three rural Taranaki clubs, Strathmore, Whangamomona and Toko, it was originally presented by Mrs. Athalinda Dean in 1906 for a cricket match, however due to poor playing conditions this was cancelled and a rugby match began the tradition in 1907.
In 2003 when Whangamomona challenged Strathmore for the cup and the game was played at Yarrow Stadium on 19 April as a curtain raiser to the Hurricanes versus Highlanders Super 12 match. Strathmore were victorious, on this occasion, holding on to defend the cup and winning 17–16 in front of a capacity crowd. This is the first time that the Dean Cup has been played for outside of the Eastern Districts.
The T.R.F.U. has several teams under its control, one of note is the Taranaki Bulls whom compete in New Zealand's national rugby union competition the Mitre 10 Cup. Their top professional team, the Bulls is coached by Colin Cooper and captained by midfielder Charlie Ngatai. Their traditional colors are amber and black hoops with white shorts, with Canterbury of New Zealand being the main manufacturer. They are also sponsored by Port Taranaki.
The Taranaki squad for the 2016 Mitre 10 Cup was announced on 2 August. Samoan international Isaia Tuifua was listed as injury cover.
Note: Flags indicate national union as has been defined under WR eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-WR nationality.
Across Taranaki rugby history 32 players have now played 100 or more matches for the Taranaki union.
The 32 players and the details are:
Notable players (current and former players)
Taranaki All Blacks
Current All Blacks
Former All Blacks
All Black captains
Reuben Thorne is the fourth old boy from New Plymouth Boys' High School to captain the All Blacks in a test match. Just one school, Southland Boys High School has produced more – with six.
New Plymouth's four have been: