::1888–89 New Zealand Native football team

::concepts



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The New Zealand Natives before their match against Queensland in July 1889
The 1888–89 New Zealand Native football team was a New Zealand rugby union team that toured Britain, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand in 1888 and 1889. It mostly comprised players of Māori ancestry, and also included some Pākehā (white New Zealanders). A wholly private endeavour, the tour was not under the auspices of any official rugby authority; it was organised by New Zealand international player Joseph Warbrick, promoted by civil servant Thomas Eyton, and managed by James Scott, a publican. The Natives were the first New Zealand team to perform a haka, and also the first to wear all black. They played 107 rugby matches during the tour, as well as a small number of Victorian Rules football and association football matches in Australia. Having made a significant impact on the development of New Zealand rugby, the Natives were inducted into the International Rugby Board Hall of Fame in 2008.

After a preliminary tour of New Zealand in 1888, the side travelled to England via Melbourne and Suez. The Māori players initially provoked curiosity due to their race, but the British press subsequently expressed some surprise that the side was not as "Māori" as they had expected. Playing their first match, on 3 October against Surrey, the team was subjected to a taxing match schedule, and frequently played three matches per week. Their early matches included a 9–0 loss to Middlesex, but their form improved in November, when they won 10 of their 13 matches. The team played its first international match on 1 December, against Ireland, and won 13–4. This was followed by a win over one of the strongest English county teams, Yorkshire, and a 5–0 defeat against the Wales national team. By January 1889 the Natives had played 36 matches in less than three months, winning 22 of them; they had spent most of their time in the north of England, where the playing strength was strongest and the crowds largest and most profitable.

In a return match on 19 January, Yorkshire fielded a stronger side than in the first match and inflicted one of the Natives' heaviest losses, a 16–4 defeat. The team then went undefeated until 16 February, when they faced England. Officials of the strictly amateur Rugby Football Union (RFU) had become increasingly concerned at the behaviour of the New Zealanders, regarding them as unsportsmanlike, and tensions reached a nadir in the aftermath of the England international, during which the RFU secretary George Rowland Hill, refereeing the game, awarded a number of controversial tries to England, prompting three of the Natives to temporarily leave the field in protest; England eventually won 7–0. The Natives apologised afterwards for their behaviour, but the damage was not repaired. The New Zealanders left England without an official send-off, and travelled to Australia where they toured Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland. They then returned to New Zealand, where they displayed a level of combination not seen in their home country before. They went 31 games undefeated before losing their final match, on 24 August 1889, 7–2 to Auckland.

The Natives' final record in rugby matches was 78 wins, 6 draws and 23 losses. They introduced a number of tactical innovations to New Zealand rugby on their return home, and their tour contributed to the formation of the New Zealand Rugby Football Union in 1892. Seventeen of the team's 26 players went on to play provincially in New Zealand, and two, Thomas Ellison and David Gage, subsequently captained the New Zealand national rugby team.


1888–89 New Zealand Native football team sections
Intro  Background   Arrival in England and early matches    Ireland, further English matches, and Wales    Return to England    England international    Later matches and departure from England    Australia    Return to New Zealand    Impact and legacy   Squad  Matches played   Notes    References    Sources   

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Rugby::zealand    Natives::rugby    Their::union    Match::played    Against::union    England::matches

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The New Zealand Natives before their match against Queensland in July 1889
The 1888–89 New Zealand Native football team was a New Zealand rugby union team that toured Britain, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand in 1888 and 1889. It mostly comprised players of Māori ancestry, and also included some Pākehā (white New Zealanders). A wholly private endeavour, the tour was not under the auspices of any official rugby authority; it was organised by New Zealand international player Joseph Warbrick, promoted by civil servant Thomas Eyton, and managed by James Scott, a publican. The Natives were the first New Zealand team to perform a haka, and also the first to wear all black. They played 107 rugby matches during the tour, as well as a small number of Victorian Rules football and association football matches in Australia. Having made a significant impact on the development of New Zealand rugby, the Natives were inducted into the International Rugby Board Hall of Fame in 2008.

After a preliminary tour of New Zealand in 1888, the side travelled to England via Melbourne and Suez. The Māori players initially provoked curiosity due to their race, but the British press subsequently expressed some surprise that the side was not as "Māori" as they had expected. Playing their first match, on 3 October against Surrey, the team was subjected to a taxing match schedule, and frequently played three matches per week. Their early matches included a 9–0 loss to Middlesex, but their form improved in November, when they won 10 of their 13 matches. The team played its first international match on 1 December, against Ireland, and won 13–4. This was followed by a win over one of the strongest English county teams, Yorkshire, and a 5–0 defeat against the Wales national team. By January 1889 the Natives had played 36 matches in less than three months, winning 22 of them; they had spent most of their time in the north of England, where the playing strength was strongest and the crowds largest and most profitable.

In a return match on 19 January, Yorkshire fielded a stronger side than in the first match and inflicted one of the Natives' heaviest losses, a 16–4 defeat. The team then went undefeated until 16 February, when they faced England. Officials of the strictly amateur Rugby Football Union (RFU) had become increasingly concerned at the behaviour of the New Zealanders, regarding them as unsportsmanlike, and tensions reached a nadir in the aftermath of the England international, during which the RFU secretary George Rowland Hill, refereeing the game, awarded a number of controversial tries to England, prompting three of the Natives to temporarily leave the field in protest; England eventually won 7–0. The Natives apologised afterwards for their behaviour, but the damage was not repaired. The New Zealanders left England without an official send-off, and travelled to Australia where they toured Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland. They then returned to New Zealand, where they displayed a level of combination not seen in their home country before. They went 31 games undefeated before losing their final match, on 24 August 1889, 7–2 to Auckland.

The Natives' final record in rugby matches was 78 wins, 6 draws and 23 losses. They introduced a number of tactical innovations to New Zealand rugby on their return home, and their tour contributed to the formation of the New Zealand Rugby Football Union in 1892. Seventeen of the team's 26 players went on to play provincially in New Zealand, and two, Thomas Ellison and David Gage, subsequently captained the New Zealand national rugby team.


1888–89 New Zealand Native football team sections
Intro  Background   Arrival in England and early matches    Ireland, further English matches, and Wales    Return to England    England international    Later matches and departure from England    Australia    Return to New Zealand    Impact and legacy   Squad  Matches played   Notes    References    Sources   

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