The Ross Brown Shield was first played for in 1976 by teams from the four home zones of the Northern Taranaki Primary Schools Rugby Union. It was the result of efforts to provide boys with extra and further opportunities to play at representative level once the Taranaki team had been selected following the usual series of trial games. In 1977 the South Taranaki players joined the Ross Brown tournament, making up the 4 zone teams—North, West, Central and South. Mr Dave McColl, at the time the Primary Schools Rugby Union Chairman and TRFU executive member and well known Taranaki Rugby personality Mr Ross Brown, who donated the trophy, were instrumental in putting together the foundations of the event and from these small beginnings the tournament of today has developed into a most prestigious and valued event in the province’s rugby calendar.
From this tournament two Taranaki Invitation teams are selected to play in the Wanganui Quadrangular tournament and now it is from this tournament that the Taranaki Primary Schools representative team is selected to play a number of matches against other union’s Primary School Reps, almost what was envisaged back in 1976.
The “Silver Jubilee Trophy” awarded to the player adjudged to be the ‘team player of the tournament’ was presented by Ross Brown and Dave McColl in the year 2000 to mark and recognize the playing of the 25th tournament. The criteria for the awarding of this trophy further recognizes the key aspects of teamwork, sportsmanship and the general level of rugby skills—as well as the manner in which a boy utilizes and displays these attributes and influences the efforts of his team in the tournament.
The criteria for selection to the zonal and representative teams are:
•Under age 13 at 01 January
•At primary school
•Under 57kg weight