On May 14, 1870 at Nelson's Botanical Reserve in a game which is now recognized as the first game of rugby football played in New Zealand, Nelson Foot-ball Club took the field against Nelson College running out the winner by 2-0.
The game had been introduced by Charles Monro, son of Sir David Monro, speaker of the house of Representatives, who had recently returned from studying at Christ's College, London. The headmaster of Nelson College, The Rev. F.C. Simmons, was himself a former student of Rugby School.