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Encyclopedia > George Nepia

George Nepia (1905/1908? - 1986) was a famous Maori rugby and rugby league player. Nepia was born in Wairoa in Hawkes Bay. While his birth certificate stated that Nepia was born 1905 he later claimed he had been born in 1908. 1986 (MCMLXXXVI) is a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Te Puni, Māori Chief Māori is the name of the indigenous people of New Zealand, and their language. ... Rugby may refer to: The sport of Rugby football, in its various forms: Rugby league Rugby union Touch Rugby Tag Rugby Wheelchair Rugby mrs brown thinks that rugby is the best sport in the world!!! Places: Rugby, Warwickshire, England Rugby borough Rugby Rural District Rugby and Kenilworth constituency Rugby, North... Rugby league is a team sport, played by two teams of 13 players. ... Wairoa is a town in New Zealands North Island. ... Hawkes Bay is a region of New Zealand. ...

After finishing primary school in Nuhaka, Nepia was to attend Te Aute College but went to the nearby Maori Agricultural College instead. Nepia was selected for the Hawkes Bay provincial rugby team in 1922. At that time Hawkes Bay had one of the strongest teams in New Zealand and held the Ranfurly Shield. Nepia initially played on the wing but was later shifted to second-five eighth. Te Aute College (Maori: Te Kura O Te Aute) is a prestigious Maori school in the Hawkes Bay region of New Zealand. ... The Ranfurly Shield, colloquially known as the Log of Wood, is perhaps the most prestigious trophy in New Zealands domestic rugby union competition. ...


The Invincibles

In 1924 Nepia was selected as a full-back for the All Blacks to the United Kingdom. Nepia was one of the stars of the tour. He played all 32 games on the United Kingdom leg of the tour and scored 77 points. As the team did not lose any matches, they came to be known as the Invincibles. Nepia was the only playter to play in every game of the tour. Nepia was a fine full-back, with a safe pair of hands, a strong kicking game and a fierce tackle. A Silver fern emblem was first used by the 1893 side that toured Australia. ...

Marriage and Family

In 1926 Nepia married Huinga Kohere. They were to have four children, three sons and a daughter. Nepia and his family settled on a dairy farm on the East Coast. Gisborne is the name of a unitary authority (in this case, a region and district) in New Zealand. ...

Nepia was omitted from the 1928 All Blacks tour of South Africa, probably on racial grounds. Nepia returned to the All Blacks for tours to Australia in 1929 and against the British Lions in New Zealand in 1930. These were his last games for the All Blacks. The official 2005 Lions logo The British and Irish Lions (formerly British Isles and then the British Lions; commonly the Lions) is a Rugby Union side comprising a pick of the best players from the four Home nation unions in Great Britain and Ireland. ...

Switch to Rugby League

In 1935 Nepia went to England to play rugby league professionally. His family remained in New Zealand. Because rugby union was a strictly amateur game at the time, Nepia was cast out from rugby union. Nepia played for the New Zealand rugby league team as well as various club sides. Rugby league is a team sport, played by two teams of 13 players. ...

Later life

In 1947 the New Zealand rugby union held an amnesty allowing former league players to return to rugby union. Nepia played a first-class match in 1950 against a Poverty Bay side captained by his eldest son (also called George). This made Nepia the oldest New Zealander to play in a first-class game, and was the only time a father has played against his son in a first-class game. Poverty Bay is the largest of several small bays on the east coast of New Zealands North Island to the north of Hawke Bay. ...

Following his retirement from playing rugby Nepia became a referee and worked as a farm manager in the Wairoa district. In 1975 his wife Huinga died. Nepia lived out his final years with his son Winston in Ruatoria. He died in 1986. The town of Ruatoria is located in the East Coast region of New Zealands North Island. ...

Nepia is remembered as an exceptional full-back and one of the most famous Maori rugby players. He was inducted into the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame in 1990. In 2005 he was selected as number 65 by the panel of the New Zealand's Top 100 History Makers television show.

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