In the spirit of the season, The Waiwera Society spoke to Inga 'The Winger' Tuigamala - learning about his history as a rugby player, his childhood heroes and getting his views on the advantages of the home turf.

Which New Zealand rugby teams have you played for?
Obviously Auckland is my provincial team, so for the Auckland franchise as well as the Super Blues. Ponsonby is my club, I’ve been with them since 1976 as a young kid. So those are my teams, that I’ve played for.

Waiwera is one of New Zealand’s legendary stories. Who are your legends or heroes?
Sporting legends – definitely the great Bryan Williams, BG Williams, in the All Blacks in the 70s. He was one of the first Pacific Islanders to tear up the rugby field – so as a young kid, I was looking up to him. Also with the great Michael Jones, one of the more modern heroes that we’ve got – he was our local hero, who played in our local club, in our backyard really. Just seeing him excel and doing extremely well, being a wonderful role model and creating that pathway for a lot of us Pacific Islanders to follow in his tread.

How important is playing on the home turf?
Home advantage is always worth a few points, or worth a headstart. I’ve got no doubt that as we go into this World Cup, we’ve got a huge advantage over most countries. And you’ve seen in the past years in the previous World Cups that teams with the home advantage, it plays a big factor in whether they get into the finals or win the finals. We saw it in South Africa in 1995, when South Africa hosted it; we saw it in 1987, the inaugural World Cup, so it just goes to show that home advantage is very important for us.

What factors contribute to this home turf advantage?
There are a lot of factors that contribute to that advantage – obviously the home support, the die-hard fans, and just what it means to our players to know the whole nation is right behind them. The games are going to be tough, you know – the World Cup finals are going to be tough. There’s no guarantee that we’ll make the finals, however, with the home advantage it really does connect us to our people. Hopefully that’s the winning edge that we need to push us right through.

This week, The House of Waiwera is showcasing documentaries with a focus on legendary stories in rugby, to serve as a source of inspiration for future achievements and reminder of human accomplishment. And there's no entry fee!

The House of Waiwera, at 285 Parnell Road, has been converted into a living indoor rugby field for the occasion, to maximise the viewing experience.

If you're in the Parnell area, make sure you come in and watch!

All documentaries commence at 12pm.

Monday, August the 8th
Rugby Nomad

Directed by Ross Killeen
A documentary following Luke O'Callaghan, an Irish rugby player who attempts to qualify for the Rugby World Cup with his adopted home country, Kazakhstan.
Duration: 52 minutes

Tuesday, August the 9th
Stealing Rugby

Directed by David Salter
Documents the secret battle for control of Rugby Union by the Packer and Murdoch empires over the course of the 1995 Rugby World Cup in Johannesburg. Includes interviews with Sean Fitzpatrick and other major players, at a time when backstage turmoil could have ended rugby as we know it.
Duration: 55 minutes

Wednesday, August the 10th

Directed by Henry Alex Rubin and Dana Adam Shapiro
In 1994, the US quad rugby team was in training for the Paralympic games. Playing full-contact rugby on wheelchairs, this film follows their story in overcoming huge obstacles. Winner of the audience award at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival.
Duration: 85 minutes

Thursday, August the 11th
Rugby Nomad (repeat screening)
Duration: 52 minutes

Friday, August the 12th
Stealing Rugby (repeat screening)
Duration: 55 minutes


As a proud supporter of grassroots rugby and a collector of rugby memorabilia, the Waiwera Society is proud to make public its relationship with Mt Albert Grammar School's First XV. 

May 21, 2011 marked the launch of the new MAGS rugby uniform. Emblazoned with the Waiwera logo, the uniform is a symbol of the Waiwera Society's prospering relationship with the school.

Ronald Bush. Vic Bulter. Joe Stanley. Sonny Bill Williams. The Waiwera Society admires MAGS's long, hallowed tradition of nuturing academic and sporting talent, and developing them into bonafide legends.

We're looking forward to seeing what will come from this exciting partnership. The Waiwera Society aims to bring this school's great and enduring traditions to a wider audience, and benefit by watching its students finding their own, novel ways to Live Up To Legend™.


The Waiwera Society has added to its collection of vintage rugby memorabilia with this photograph of the 1896 Māori Rugby Union Team.

At the time of the photo, David 'Pony' Gage had been appointed the third official captain of the team.
Gage can be seen at the very right of the photo in the back row. He played in 68 of the 74 matches that the Māori 'Natives' team played in Britain, as well as being part of the Australian tour in 1893. 

The 1896 team pictured beat Queensland at Wellington’s Athletic Park with a phenomenal 9-0 final score.

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