October 15 - 1988 Div NZ XV in Cook Islands

The first New Zealand Divisional team, selected from unions in the second and third divisions of the national championship, was chosen in 1988 and made an unbeaten six match tour of the Cook Islands, Tonga and Fiji. In doing so they became the first New Zealand representative team to play in the Cooks.

This was not the first rugby contact with the Cook Islands. Their first ever tour was to New Zealand in 1976, six matches, two of which, against a Counties XV and v Thames Valley, were accorded first class status. All matches were lost, but not by embarrassing margins.

Both the 1988 matches in the Cook Islands were played in Raratonga. The first, on October 13, was against a Cook Islands Selection, with the Divisional XV romping away to a 54-6 win. The second match on October 15 against Cook Islands, was much closer, a 9 – 6 win to the Divisional XV.


October 13 v Cook Islands Selection. Won 56 – 4. A B Hansen (3), Laursen, Stark, Meads, Hainsworth, Gordon, Anderson, Nicholson tries Stark 8 conversions.

October 15 v Cook Islands. Won 9 – 6. Marfell try. Stark conversion and penalty.

The remaining tour matches were:

October 20 v Tonga President Selection. Won 28 – 8.

October 22 v Tonga. Won 25 – 8.

October 25 v Nadi Districts. Won 30 – 16.

October 29 v Fiji. Won 24 – 20.

All six tour matches were refereed by H van der Westhuizen (Austrlia).



B T McKenzie Southland

Three quarter

C J Dorgan (South Canterbury(. A B Hansen (Poverty Bay), D C Laursen (Horowhenua), M J A Cooper (Hawkes Bay), J D Hainsworth (Wanganui).


H S Gordon (Wanganui), E J Manuel (East Coast), I D Stark (Marlborough)


B A Matthews (South Canterbury), A P Slee (Buller)

No 8 Forwards

G C Meads (King Country)


M W Shaw (capt) (Hawkes Bay), M A Darrah (Thames Valley), B W Hansen (Wanganui), P J Renton ( Hawkes Bay)


B L Anderson (Wairarapa Bush), F W Marfell (Marlborough)


R J McLean (Wairarapa Bush), P C Nicholson (Marlborough) B E Styles (Wairarapa Bush)


L McDonald (Mid Canterbury), B A Youle (Southland)

Manager: G W J Atkin (Wellington)

Assistant Manager/coach: P L Penn (Wairarapa Bush)

South Pacific Rugby Aid Coach: R W Norton (Canterbury)

Referee: H van der Westhuizen (Australia)

Robbie McLean, one of the All Blacks in the Divisional XV