Other All Blacks

Other All Blacks

Twenty-one All Blacks have represented Ponsonby during their careers who were only chosen for New Zealand while with other clubs; the list even includes two Ponsonby Life Members, Keith Nelson and Lin Colling. While these men aren't counted in the list of the club's All Blacks, you can follow the link above for a full list, or click on the names below for individual profiles.

Ned Davy played briefly in Auckland as a member of the Ponsonby club in 1877. He had made his name in the Thames area and soon moved on to Wellington, from where he was the oldest man chosen to make the 1884 tour of Australia. His brother Henry ("Hookey") played for Ponies for some years.

Joe Warbrick played for Ponsonby as a 15-year-old schoolboy in 1877, and is believed to be the youngest-ever first-class player in New Zealand. By the time he was chosen in the first New Zealand team, in 1884, he was back in the Bay of Plenty, where the family was from.

Tim O'Connor was originally a stalwart of the Auckland club, who had to transfer to Ponsonby towards the end of his career when the District Scheme was introduced in 1891. He was also a member of that first New Zealand team in 1884.

Fred Murray was just a young player when the District Scheme was introduced in 1891 but already making a mark; unfortunately for Ponsonby he lived outside the district boundaries and was lost to the club. He was chosen for two early tours of Australia, in 1893 and 1897.

Frank Wilson played for Ponsonby towards the end of the District Scheme and first represented Auckland in 1906. Keenly sought by University when it was allowed to join Senior ranks in 1908, he played the rest of his peace-time rugby with the Students and made the All Blacks in 1910.

James Barrett, like Frank Wilson, was lost to Ponsonby when the District Scheme ran its course. He joined Marist when that club became a Senior entity, and was one of the club's first All Blacks when he was picked for the home matches against Australia in 1913.

Ces Badeley played for the club in the early days of World War I. On his return from the fighting he became a leading light with the Grammar Old Boys club, and made the All Blacks in 1920-21-24. A chronic knee injury all but ended his career just after he led the All Blacks to Australia. The 1915 Fourth Grade photo includes both Badeley brothers as young men. 

Vic Badeley, like his brother, played for Ponsonby in 1915; Vic was only 16. The brothers were both starring in the Auckland Grammar First XV that year as well but managed to play for both teams. Vic Badeley won All Black honours from Grammar Old Boys in 1922 but suffered a career-ending head injury in 1924. The 1915 Fourth Grade photo includes both Badeley brothers as young men.

Tuna Swain made the 1928 All Blacks from Hawke's Bay, where he had also been part of the Ranfurly Shield era, and came to Auckland in early 1929 when he joined Ponsonby. However he only played a handful of matches before injuring a knee and never played again. He had declared himself unavailable for the 1929 Australian tour before his injury.

Ron Dobson played for Ponsonby after returning from war service - he was a member of the famed Kiwis - but transferred to Northcote after the memorable 1948 championship season, winning New Zealand selection for the home series against Australia in 1949.

Rex Orr played for Ponsonby towards the end of his career, the best part of which was spent with Otago during its great Ranfurly Shield days; he was an All Black at home in 1949. Orr left his teaching position and returned to the Air Force for some years, playing for Ponsonby while stationed at Hobsonville.

Noel Bowden was a member of a well-known Ponsonby family but gained his All Black jersey during the years he was teaching away from Auckland; he played against Australia in 1952 while in Taranaki. He returned to the club towards the end of his career, before taking a prominent part in off-field club affairs.

Keith Nelson is Ponsonby through and through but was only chosen for New Zealand while studying dentistry at Otago University in 1962-63-64. He played for Ponsonby before heading south and for many years after returning home, but was never again selected for the All Blacks.  

Keith Murdoch played for the club in 1966, during a period of his life when he was travelling throughout New Zealand. He had been in Hawke's Bay in 1965 and then went cray-fishing off the Chatham Islands for a couple of years after leaving Auckland. He played for New Zealand in 1970 and 1972.

Lin Colling came to the club when he moved north from Otago in 1974, but his last New Zealand selection had been for the British tour in 1972-73. Despite continued good form, he was never chosen in his time in Auckland.

Terry Morrison was another Otago player to head north in the early 1970s and play for Ponsonby; despite playing his best rugby in his Auckland days his brief All Black career (he played in 1973) was over while he was still a student at Otago University.

Greg Burgess played for Ponsonby in between moving north from Otago University and transferring to Takapuna, shortly before he gained All Black selection in 1980; most of his representative rugby was played in his Takapuna days.

Jasin Goldsmith was already an All Black when he came to Ponsonby although he was only 19 when he made the move from Hamilton; he was the third-youngest player ever chosen for New Zealand when picked in 1988. Bad injuries virtually ended his career soon after he came to Auckland.

Isitolo Maka began his career with Ponsonby before moving south to get a chance with the Highlanders in Super rugby's early days, as his progress had been blocked by a long line of high-quality loose forwards in Auckland. His brief All Black career began and ended in 1998.

Kevin Senio began his club career with Ponsonby but a lack of opportunity caused him to move first to Counties-Manukau and then to Bay of Plenty, from where he was chosen for New Zealand in 2005. After ending his professional career Senio returned to Ponsonby as a player and then a coach.

Stephen Perofeta played briefly for Ponsonby in 2017, when he was a youngster on the verge of breaking into Super Rugby. Despite encouragement to stay, he returned to Taranaki, from where he was chosen for New Zealand in 2022.

There was also one near-miss: In 1914 Charles Gillespie, a 1913 All Black from Wellington, joined the club and was twice named to start but on both occasions he was a late withdrawal. As far as one can tell, he then left the club and never took the field in a Ponsonby jersey. His replacement in the team was a good one though - Bill Cunningham was persuaded to come out of retirement and fill the gap.

In 1955 Ponsonby invited the Olympic Year All Black, Mick Bremner, to turn out in the fund-raiser game against Petone. He did, playing a blinder, and probably put his name back in the selectors' minds for Springbok year, when he was recalled after three years in the wilderness. Although he was never a member at Ponsonby, he did turn out in the famous blue-and-black hoops.