List of Australian club rugby union competitions

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In Australia, what is considered the third tier of Rugby is often referred to as club rugby, grade rugby or premier rugby. Club Rugby often focuses on the major metropolitan areas of the respective unions, with teams representing various districts and suburbs. The teams represented in the first grade can and have changed over time, and are open to change at the discretion of the governing body.

Sydney Premiership[edit]

The Shute Shield is a rugby union competition in Sydney, New South Wales. It is the premier grade rugby trophy in Sydney rugby. The shield is contested by eleven Sydney Rugby Union clubs.

The first Sydney club competition was held in 1874, contested by Balmain, Newington College, University of Sydney and The King's School, Parramatta. The Shute Shield is seen as the traditional successor to this competition.

The shield was donated to the New South Wales Rugby Union in 1923 by Sydney University Football Club, and was named in honour of Robert Elliott Stewart Shute who died while playing for The Rest v NSW XV on 5 June 1922.[1]

Teams in the Shute Shield
Jersey Club Location Home ground Nickname First season
. . Eastern Suburbs Upper Eastern Suburbs (Rose Bay) Woolahra Oval The Beasties 1900
. . Eastwood Northern Suburbs (Eastwood) T G Millner Field The Woodies 1947
. . Gordon Upper North Shore (Chatswood) Chatswood Oval Highlanders 1936
. . Manly Lower Northern Beaches (Manly) Manly Oval The Marlins 1906
. . Northern Suburbs Lower North Shore (North  Sydney) North Sydney Oval The Shoremen, Norths, The Red and Blacks 1900
. . Parramatta Parramatta Granville Park Two Blues 1879 (as Cumberland, 1900 name change)
. . Randwick Lower Eastern Suburbs (Randwick/Coogee) Coogee Oval Galloping Greens, The wicks 1882
. . Southern Districts St George and The Shire Forshaw Park The Rebels 1989, (St George DRC – 1906, Port Hacking RC – 1957)
. . Sydney University Sydney (Camperdown) University Oval No.2 The Students 1863
. . Warringah Upper Northern Beaches (Narabeen) Pittwater Park The Rats, Ratties 1963
. . West Harbour Inner West (Concord) Concord Oval Pirates 1900 (as Western Suburbs DRFC)

Queensland Premier Rugby[edit]

Queensland Premier Rugby is the top club competition in Queensland. Nine clubs take part; eight from Brisbane and a club each from the Gold Coast.

The first club rugby competition in Queensland was the Hospital Football Challenge, which began in 1899. It was an annual fund-raising venture for the Brisbane Hospital, but the game fell away during and after WWI, and rugby union was abandoned in Queensland after 1919.

The competition was restored in 1929 and the original trophy, the magnificent Hospital Cup, became the premiership trophy again. It is now awarded to the winner of the Premier Rugby grand final.[2]

Teams in Queensland Premier Rugby
Est. Club Location Home Ground Nickname Admitted to Premier Grade
1996 [3] . Bond University Gold Coast (Varsity Lakes) Bond University Field Breakers 1997
1905 [4] . Brothers North-East Suburbs (Albion) Jack Ross Oval Butcher Bhoys, The Brethren, The Filth 1905
1947 [5] . Eastern Districts Eastern Suburbs (Coorparoo) David Wilson Field Tigers, Easts 1950
1887 [6] . GPS Old Boys Inner West (Ashgrove) Ashgrove Sports Ground Jeeps 1931
1931 [7] . North Brisbane North Brisbane (Wooloowin) Hugh Courtney Oval Eagles, Norths 1991 (1933 — Eagle Jctn, 1961 — Teachers, 1974 — Teachers-Norths)
1911 [8] . University of Queensland Inner West (St Lucia) University Field 5A Red Heavies 1912
1948 [9] . Southern Districts Southern Brisbane (Annerley) R.A. "Chipsy" Wood Oval Magpies, Souths 1948
1969 [10] . Sunnybank Sunnybank and Logan Oldmac Oval, Macgregor Dragons 1989
1951 [11] . West Brisbane Inner West (Toowong) Sedgman Oval Bulldogs, Wests 1955

ACTRU Premier Division[edit]

The ACTRU Premier Division is the top rugby club competition in Canberra. It is conducted by the region's governing body, the ACT and Southern NSW Rugby Union.

The competition was first held in 1938. There are currently, as of 2013, seven ACT clubs that compete in the top division. The trophy awarded to the winner of the grand final is the John I Dent Cup, named after the benefactor who donated it to the union. All of the finals are played at Viking Park.

Teams that compete for the John I Dent Cup
Est. Club Location Home Ground Nickname Admitted to Premier Grade
1949 [12] . Canberra Royals Woden Valley Phillip Oval Blue Baggers 1949
1938 [13] . Easts South Canberra Griffith Oval Beasties 1938
1967 [14] . Gungahlin Eagles Gungahlin Nicholls Oval Eagles 1967
1954 [15] . Queanbeyan Whites Queanbeyan Campese Field Whites 1955
1973 [16] . Tuggeranong Vikings Tuggeranong Viking Park Vikings 1973
1988 [17] . Uni-Norths Owls North Canberra ANU North Oval Owls 1988 (1938 - University, Norths)
1962 [18] . Wests Lions Belconnen Jamison Oval Lions 1962

RugbyWA Premier Grade[edit]

The Premier Grade is contested by 13 teams from the Greater Perth Area.

The teams currently in the RugbyWA Premier Grade are:

Victorian Premier Division[edit]

The Dewar Shield is contested by 9 teams from the Greater Melbourne Area.

Club Location Home ground Nickname Founded First season
Box Hill Box Hill RHL Sparks Reserve Broncos 1958 1966
Endeavour Hills Endeavour Hills Frog Hollow Reserve Eagles 1979 2007
Footscray Footscray Henry Turner Memorial Reserve Bulldogs 1928
Harlequin Ashwood Ashwood Reserve Quins 1928 1930
Melbourne Armadale Romanis Reserve, Orrong Park Unicorns 1909 1929
Melbourne University Parkville Royal Park Students 1909 1910
Moorabbin Moorabbin Keys Rd Reserve Rams 1965
Power House Albert Park Albert Park The Society 1933 1936
Southern Districts Seaford Riviera Park Pirates 1972

South Australian Premier Grade[edit]

Tasmanian Division One[edit]

The teams currently in the Tasmanian Division One are:

Darwin First Grade[edit]

The First Grade competition is contested by 5 teams from the Darwin area.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Tooheys New Shute Shield". New South Wales Rugby Union. Archived from the original on 8 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-30. 
  2. ^ "The Hospital Cup". QRU. Retrieved 12 Jun 2013. 
  3. ^ "Gold Coast Breakers RUFC". Aussie Sports Info. Retrieved 12 Jun 2013. 
  4. ^ "History". Brothers Rugby Club. Retrieved 12 Jun 2013. 
  5. ^ "History". Easts Rugby Brisbane. Retrieved 12 Jun 2013. 
  6. ^ "A brief history of the Gallopers". GPS Rugby. Retrieved 12 Jun 2013. 
  7. ^ "Norths-QUT Club History". Archived from the original on 16 April 2003. Retrieved 12 June 2013. 
  8. ^ "History". UQRFC. Retrieved 12 Jun 2013. 
  9. ^ "History". Souths Rugby. Retrieved 12 Jun 2013. 
  10. ^ "Sunnybank Dragons RUFC". Aussie Sports Info. Retrieved 12 Jun 2013. 
  11. ^ "History - Our Journey". Wests Bulldogs Rugby. Retrieved 12 Jun 2013. 
  12. ^ "History". Canberra Royals RUFC. Archived from the original on 10 April 2013. Retrieved 12 June 2013. 
  13. ^ "History". Eastern Suburbs RUFC ACT. Retrieved 12 Jun 2013. 
  14. ^ "About Us". Gungahlin Eagles RUFC. Retrieved 12 Jun 2013. 
  15. ^ "Queanbeyan Whites RUFC". Aussie Sports Info. Retrieved 12 Jun 2013. 
  16. ^ "History". Tuggeranong Vikings Rugby Union. Retrieved 12 Jun 2013. 
  17. ^ "Uni-Norths Owls RUFC". Aussie Sports Info. Retrieved 12 Jun 2013. 
  18. ^ "Club History". Western District RUFC ACT. Retrieved 12 Jun 2013.