The history of the Mid Canterbury Rugby Union is closely linked to that of Canterbury and South Canterbury. Football was first played in Christchurch as early as 1854. Its rough and tumble soon struck a chord with the tough men who lived in Canterbury’s rural hinterland. Rugby as we know it today did not exist and clubs emerged playing ad-hoc rules and styles. One week they’d play Association football, the next a form of rugby or even the Victorian Rules game that was popular with Australians. Sometimes it was an amalgam of all three, made up on the day with few limits on team size.