The only Kiwi to come from the short-lived City club, Ernest Button was New Zealand’s hooker in the one-off Test against England in 1914.

The 1909 Canterbury rugby union rep switched codes to captain fledgling City in its sole season in the CRL competition and represented Canterbury against Wellington. The 22-year-old subsequently received a surprise call-up to the national side but earned praise for his committed display in New Zealand’s 16-13 loss to England in Auckland.

Button enlisted in New Zealand’s armed forces in World War I, embarking on two overseas stints. He played for Linwood RLFC in 1917 during a return home due to illness before resuming his military service.

Button took advantage of rugby union’s post-war moratorium on bans for players who had switched to rugby union, turning out for his former club Christchurch RFC in 1921.

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