Shirley RFC began life as Technical College Old Boys Rugby Club in 1917 and was admitted to Senior status in 1927. Between 1945 and 1950 our senior side was the dominant force in Christchurch Club Rugby winning championships in 1946 and 1949. In 1962 the club changed its name to Shirley RFC and in 1967 new clubrooms were constructed at North Avon Road. The following year the club colours were changed from green, gold and white to the current Cambridge Blue and White.

Our senior side finished 2nd in the 1985 senior championship which opened the door of a golden era. In 1986 Shirley were the Senior Champions and in the following seven years the senior side won the Trustbank Cup on 3 occasions and appeared in 3 more Trophy Finals sharing the title in 1989. Over the following decade consistent success proved elusive with the exception of our world record holding Div 6 side (150 matches undefeated). The clubs junior section has continued to prosper through the 90’s to the present day with 15 teams fielded in 2007.

In 2003 the North Avon Road clubrooms were sold and the club joined forces with East Christchurch Shirley Cricket Club to redevelop a jointly occupied sports club facility at picturesque Burwood Park. Construction of the new clubrooms was completed in 2005.


The club (as Tech Old Boys and now Shirley) has produced a long list of Canterbury representatives, many national age group reps and several All Blacks. Club and Canterbury legend Doug Herman captained Ranfurly Shield winning sides, captained the South Island twice and held the Canterbury record at 90 appearances for many years. Recent CRFU president and All Black great Dennis Young played 139 games at hooker for Canterbury and 61 games (22 tests) for his country. In 1968 Chris Laidlaw captained the All Blacks against Australia whilst playing at Shirley.

Halfback Steve Scott toured Australia with the All Blacks in 1980.

Record try scorer and 1987 World Cup hero Craig Green played all his junior rugby at Shirley and returned to the club in the mid 1980’s to inspire a senior championship victory.

Lock Chris England made over 100 Canterbury appearances whilst Allan Lindsay was selected well over 100 times for the province, often as reserve to All Black halfbacks Deans and Bachop.

Between 1986 and 1992, Grant Mickell represented Canterbury on 62 occasions.

Hooker Matt Sexton made 36 appearances for the Crusaders plus 128 caps for Canterbury over 11 seasons.

Loose forward star Hayden Hopgood represented Canterbury 2004 to 2008, scoring the winning try in the 2008 NPC final.

Hayden went on to play Super rugby for the Hurricanes and Chiefs before playing professionally in Japan, and made several international appearances for that nation.

In more recent years, Crusader squad members, Sione Fifita and Sean Wainui have also turned out for our Div One side when available.