When New Zealand authorised the use of loan players, it was natural many smaller unions would come looking for someone to fill a vital spot in the metropolitan competitions. Ponsonby was often asked for the use of its players on loan arrangements, and more than 30 have so far appeared for other unions under this system. Click on the link above for the full list.
The first name on the list, James Heffernan, played 130 years ago and is an oddity. He played the full club season for Ponsonby but was transferred to Taranaki almost as soon as it ended, and was chosen in the rep team despite never joining or playing for a local club. By the time the 1891 season came around he was back in Auckland, and is therefore considered the first 'loan' player in New Zealand rugby. The rest are loan players as we understand the term today - representing a union (not Auckland) while still with the Ponsonby club.
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