Why the original members called themselves the Roosters is still not totally clear.The English translation of Te Atatu is 'the early morning' and roosters are renowned as early risers but the more common theory is that the playing jerseys were nearly identical to those of the former Eastern Suburbs Roosters Club, now called the Sydney City Roosters.

Te Atatu was a trend setting club when it came to travelling to play rugby league in New Zealand and Australia.  It was the first Auckland Club to compete in Blenheim when Marlborough Rugby League reformed in 1974, and the 1968 Senior Team was the first New Zealand Team to play on Norfolk Island.

Te Atatu has produced 12 Kiwis through its history from the unforgettable Dennis Williams in 1971 to Shontayn Hape in 2004.John Wilson, John Smith, Dean Orr, Ron O'Regan, Sam Panapa, Mark Horo, Peter Brown, Mark Elia, Henry Paul and Robbie Paul have all worn the famous black jersey with the white V.                                                           


Of these great players the gifted five-eighth Dennis Williams reigns supreme. He wore Rooster colours between 1959 and 1980 from the age of four and was years ahead of his peer group. 

He made his Auckland senior debut at 14 and became the youngest Kiwi when he was selected on the triumphant 1971 tour to Great Britain aged 17. In his first test on that tour he scored a brilliant solo try with his first touch and ended up playing 31 times for the Kiwis between 1971 and 1981. 

In 1975 he became the youngest player to captain the Kiwis when he led them against Wales. Dennis went on to coach at the club and continues to support his club today. 

He is sometimes seen at prize-givings or special occasions and he tries to catch some games throughout the season, especially the 'Clash of the West' game against Glenora because the winner gets to hold the Dennis Williams Trophy for the year.