New Zealand loves its rugby, and the Deaf community is no exception. Rugby has played a significant role in the New Zealand Deaf community, not only for the basics such as fitness and discipline, but also a chance to bond as a Deaf team. Rugby has also given the chance to many youths who may be entering the Deaf community for the first time, to find a connection and place to belong. The Deaf rugby battlefield has seen many epic regional and international clashes, and the rivalries are intense right up to the final whistle!

  • Deaf Sports
1992
video – Taonga source: Rodney Roberts

The beginnings of Easter Deaf Rugby: Northern Region vs Southern Region

The second game of 15-a-side Deaf rugby tournament in New Zealand: Southern Region seek to avenge their earlier defeat to the Northern Region.
Rodney Roberts
1998
video – Taonga source: Inside Out

Deaf Blacks players to tour Wales selected at the 1998 National Deaf Rugby Interzonal Championship

The deciding match of the 1998 National Deaf Rugby Interzonal Championship played in Wellington over Easter weekend, and cementing a place in the New Zealand Deaf team that toured Wales in November 1998.
Inside Out
1995
video – Taonga source: Television New Zealand Archive

Deaf Blacks’ first ever international match

Holmes’ Jo Malcolm catches up with the Deaf Blacks team at their training in Christchurch in preparation for the first of three upcoming test matches against the visiting Deaf South Africans - the first ever international match for both sides.
Television New Zealand Archive
1998
video – Taonga source: Kevin and Lynette Pivac

NZ Deaf Rugby Team in Wales

See Hear reports on the New Zealand Deaf Rugby team’s tour of the UK in 1998.
Kevin and Lynette Pivac
1961
video – Taonga source: Susan Hamilton

Kelston School for Deaf sends its netball and rugby teams to Russell

Kelston School for Deaf sends its netball and rugby teams to Russell.
Susan Hamilton
2002
video – Taonga source: Inside Out

Inside Out: Inaugural World Deaf Rugby Championship

Inside Out features the inaugural World Deaf Rugby Championship, including coverage of the final between New Zealand and Wales at Eden Park, Auckland in 2002.
Inside Out
1990
publication – Taonga source: National Foundation for Deaf and Hard of Hearing

NFD Journal: June 1990 (Vol. 4, No. 2)

National Foundation for Deaf and Hard of Hearing
1992
video – Taonga source: Rodney Roberts

Second National Deaf Sevens tournament

The second National Deaf Sevens tournament was held at the Linton Military Camp, located just south of Palmerston North, where the Central boys won a points-based competition.
Rodney Roberts
2017
article – Taonga source: The Northern Advocate

Rugby: Kaikohe’s Mihaka Lemon heading on NZ Deaf Blacks tour

Mihaka Lemon is ready to pull on the black jersey as he heads aboard a plane to England for the first time. The 29-year-old will play for the New Zealand Deaf Blacks on their English tour.
The Northern Advocate
2002
video – Taonga source: Kevin and Lynette Pivac

Māori & Pacific Island Deaf play against Japan Deaf Rugby XV

TVNZ’s Marae programme features the friendly game between Deaf Māori & Pacific Island Invitational XV and the Japan Deaf Rugby team. It includes the pre-match team talk with coach Richard Peri, karakia from kaumatua Ivan Tamepo, and discussions with assistant Togia Lanefale. It concludes with highlights of the match which was closely fought but finally won by Japan 20-17.
Kevin and Lynette Pivac
1995
publication – Taonga source: National Foundation for Deaf and Hard of Hearing

NFD Communicate: September 1995

National Foundation for Deaf and Hard of Hearing
1991
video – Taonga source: Rodney Roberts

Northern Deaf XV vs Southern Deaf XV

Northern Deaf XV vs Southern Deaf XV held at Linton Military Camp near Palmerston North on 31 March 1991.
Rodney Roberts
2002
video – Taonga source: Kevin and Lynette Pivac

Extended version: Deaf Rugby World Cup final – New Zealand vs Wales

Extended version: New Zealand play Wales in the Deaf Rugby World Championship final at Eden Park, Auckland in 2002.
Kevin and Lynette Pivac
1958
video – Taonga source: Susan Hamilton

Rugby Union: Kelston vs St Kentigern College

Kelston School for the Deaf had a rugby team that played in the secondary school Grade 2C division, coming third in the 1958 season. Kelston beat St Kentigern 16 to 0.
Susan Hamilton
1999
video – Taonga source: Rodney Roberts

Rodney’s Deaf Saturday

Rodney Roberts takes us through the typical Saturday of a Deaf Wellingtonian, with the Manawatu Deaf boys playing a game of rugby (and being well beaten 47 to 7), before taking us on a tour through a Wellington Deaf Society event to farewell an international interpreter.
Rodney Roberts
2002
video – Taonga source: Dorothy Jones

Amateur footage: Inaugural Deaf Rugby World Championship

A snapshot of the inaugural 2002 Deaf Rugby World Championships held in Auckland, briefly touching on official matches, friendly games, and two social evenings at Auckland Deaf Club, with speeches galore!
Dorothy Jones
2002
video – Taonga source: Zena Hughes

Third national Deaf Womens’ Sevens Tournament

The Northern Deaf womens’ team wins the third sevens tournament, comfortably beats Central 60-0 and Southern 34-0. Southern beats Central 34-5.
Zena Hughes
1995
video – Taonga source: Richard Peri

Second test: New Zealand Deaf vs South Africa

The first ever International Deaf Rugby Test Series was held in New Zealand in 1995 between New Zealand and South Africa. South Africa won the series 2-1.
Richard Peri
2000
video – Taonga source: Rodney Roberts

Central Zone holds onto the Shield!

Footage of all three men's games of the 2000 National Deaf Rugby Championships at the Canterbury Rugby League Stadium, combined into one clip. Includes pre-match Deaf cheerleading display.
Rodney Roberts
1970
video – Taonga source: Pam and Doug Croskery

Deaf social rugby match: Married vs Single men

An informal annual rugby game between teams of Deaf men, married and single, which was played on one of Kelston Deaf Education Centre’s fields.
Pam and Doug Croskery
2000
video – Taonga source: Rodney Roberts

First National Deaf Womens’ Sevens Tournament

On an Easter Friday afternoon, 22 April 2000, for the first time in history the National Deaf Women’s Seven Tournament was played between the Southern and Central teams at the Canterbury Rugby League Stadium.
Rodney Roberts