Hohepa or Harry Jacob as he became known as , first represented the Horowhenua Rugby Union on New Zealand’s Kapiti Coast as a seventeen year old. The following year, 1913 he was selected to represent the New Zealand Maori representative team. In 1915 he enlisted in the New Zealand Army and become part of the ” Pioneer Maori Battalion ” that served at Gallipoli and in France and Belgium in WW1. He was awarded the Military Cross.
On his return to New Zealand Hohepa resumed his rugby career culminating in his selection in the 1920 All Black team that toured Australia. He was Horowhenua’s first All Black and one of only two players to date to have achieved that honour. In 1922 he returned to Australia as captain of the New Zealand Maori team that won the series against N.S.W.
In 1950 his son Ranfurly, whilst attending Sydney University to complete his Veterinary Science degree, was selected to represent an Australian XV against the touring British Lions in Melbourne.
In 1970 Hohepa Jacob’s grandson and Ranfurly Jacob’s nephew, Peter Selby began his rugby career with the Powerhouse Rugby Club in Melbourne, following a junior career in Dannevirke (NZ) and a senior career with Kaierau in Wanganui(NZ). The highlights of Peter’s career were to play in the premiership winning Powerhouse 1st XV sides of 1973 and 1974 and to represent Victoria against the 1974 touring New Zealand All Blacks. Following his retirement Peter was awarded Life Membership of Powerhouse Rugby Club, the first New Zealander to achieve this honour.
Rugby vs Leukaemia was conceived by Peter following his 2017 diagnosis of AML, Acute Myloid Leukaemia which he is currently receiving treatment for at Melbourne’s Alfred hospital.
His sole aim is to increase awareness especially in the Polynesian community to the importance of donating blood and becoming part of the world wide bone marrow donor program.
Your support of this program may save lives.