The Blues were originally known as the Auckland Blues and are a New Zealand rugby union team based in Auckland, New Zealand, representing the Northland, North Harbour and Auckland unions.
They compete in the Super Rugby competition, which they won three times in its days as the Super 12 (1996, 1997, 2003).
When SANZAR were drafting the teams compositions it was decided that to have the Blues consist of North Harbour, Counties Manukau, Northland and Auckland would be unfair. This was due to the preponderance of All Blacks which came from North Harbour, Counties Manukau and Auckland at the time thus, if the Blues were to consist of these unions they would field an All Blacks team in all but name.
This led to North Harbour and Northland being part of the nearest other team, the Waikato Chiefs. This resulted in a situation where the Auckland Blues did not represent all of Auckland as North Harbour consists of the northern sector of the Auckland metropolitan area; yet the Blues also possessed Thames Valley as part of their franchise base, an area considerably closer to Hamilton than Auckland City.
By the end of the 1990s the number of All Blacks from these unions decreased, largely due to retirements of players such as Sean Fitzpatrick. This led the Blues and the Chiefs to arrange a swap, whereby the Chiefs would gain Thames Valley and Counties Manukau in exchange for the Blues gaining Northland and North Harbour.
This was widely considered not to be a fair trade as North Harbour and Northland had in recent seasons leading up to the trade greatly outperformed Counties Manukau and Thames Valley; however, it enabled the franchises to maintain unions that roughly contain the area they claim to represent.
However the Blues, ironically, lost the area colloquially referred to as South Auckland which is part of the Auckland metropolitan area. Thus, it can be said the Blues traded South Auckland for North Auckland and that the Blues as yet, still does not consist of the entire Auckland region area as its original name suggests. Around 2000, all of New Zealand's Super 12 franchises dropped the regional identifiers from their official names.
The Auckland union, which supplies the majority of the Blues' top players, is by far the most successful in New Zealand's domestic rugby competition, the National Provincial Championship.
Super 15 postions
2012 .. 12th
2011 .. 4th
Super 14 positions
2010 .. 7th
2009 .. 9th
2008 .. 6th
2007 .. 4th (lost to Sharks in Semi)
2006 .. 8th
Super 12 positions
2005 .. 7th
2004 .. 5th
2003 .. 1st .. (defeated Crusaders in final)
2002 .. 6th
2001 .. 11th
2000 .. 6th
1999 .. 9th
1998 .. 2nd .. (lost final to Canterbury Crusaders)
1997 .. 1st .. (defeated ACT Brumbies in final)
1996 .. 1st .. (defeated Natal (now the Sharks) in final)