Alama Ieremia has the distinction of scoring the first ever try in Super rugby, against the Blues in the inaugural Super 12 match in Palmerston North in 1996.
Born and raised in Samoa, Ieremia came to New Zealand to study at Victoria University in Wellington and play rugby. A hard running and strong defensive midfield back, he first made the Wellington Lions NPC side in 1992 as a 21-year old, the first of eight seasons with the Lions. His crowning moment for Wellington was winning the NPC title in 2000 in his final first class match in New Zealand.
The founding Hurricanes captain, Mark ‘Bull’ Allen had his career cut short in his prime when he was forced to retire with a serious back injury when leading the Hurricanes against the Brumbies in 1998.
Allen was a popular choice as the Hurricanes’ first captain, having already achieved folk hero status in eight seasons with Taranaki and more recently in the All Blacks.
Richard Coventry came into the Hurricanes as a replacement player midway through the 1996 season, making five appearances, including four starts in the row in the last four matches.
Coventry played for King Country in the 1996 NPC, before transferring to play as a lock for Waikato in 1997 when King Country lost its first division status. He continued at Waikato in 1998 when the Mooloo Men held the Ranfurly Shield all year and made the NPC final.
Coventry made three appearances as a substitute for the Chiefs in 1997 and subsequently played rugby in Japan.