St John’s College has a proud rugby tradition, with the 1st XV enjoying great success in the past. Several players have represented Hawke’s Bay and the Hurricanes, and a large number play in the local club premier competition. The school plans to return to those days soon. This year it has established a rugby academy and has provided a substantially improved junior and U15 program.
The college has long standing traditional fixtures against other Catholic boys’ schools including St Patrick’s Town, Francis Douglas Memorial College, Hato Paora College, St John’s College (Hamilton), Bishop Viard College (Wellington) and St Bernard’s College (Wellington). It enjoys a strong cross town rivalry with Lindisfarne College and hopes to regain the ascendancy in this battle in the near future.
It highly values its place in the CNI competition, as recruitment and retention of players is very competitive in the Hawke’s Bay, with five boys’ schools battling over a small pool of players. The CNI competition provides the school with an important focus for these players.