Greater Sydney Rams
PCS Greater Sydney Rams
Western Sydney (ARC)
Greater Sydney (NRC)
|Location||Western Sydney, Australia|
|League(s)||National Rugby Championship|
|2007||ARC Semi-Finalist (Western Sydney)|
The Greater Sydney Rams is an Australian rugby union football team that competes in the National Rugby Championship (NRC). The team is one of three sides from Sydney in the competition; the other two being the North Harbour Rays and Sydney Stars.
The Greater Sydney Rams team in the NRC takes its identity from the Western Sydney Rams side that played in the previous national competition, the Australian Rugby Championship (ARC). The ARC was discontinued following the first season in 2007, but after an absence of six years the national competition was relaunched as the NRC in 2014.
The new Rams team is backed by a syndicate of private investors in partnership with four Sydney rugby clubs; Parramatta, Penrith, Southern Districts, and West Harbour. The Eastwood club was initially part of the partnership and later withdrew, although players from Eastwood may still elect to play for the Rams. All five clubs are from the Shute Shield competition. The law firm, People + Culture Strategies (PCS), is the Rams' naming rights partner.
Name and colours
The name and colours of the Rams are taken from the team's previous incarnation as the Western Sydney Rams, as unveiled at the ARC team's launch in March 2007. The inspiration for the name Rams derives from the pioneering past of Western Sydney; and as recognition of the settlers that started the Australian sheep and wool industries in Parramatta. The Rams' colours of orange and blue mirror the colours of the City of Parramatta.
In 2007, an attempt was made to form a third tier of rugby in Australia, similar to New Zealand's ITM Cup and South Africa's Currie Cup. The new competition, called the Australian Rugby Championship, included eight teams. Three of those teams were based in New South Wales, including a Western Sydney team based at Parramatta.
Western Sydney Rams (ARC team)
The Western Sydney Rams' name, logo and team colours (orange and blue) were officially unveiled on 20 March 2007 by the New South Wales Rugby Union (NSWRU). The team launch took place at Old Government House, Parramatta – a National Trust location which is also near the Rams' stadium.
The Rams' local rivals in the ARC were the Sydney Fleet and the Central Coast Rays. The three ARC teams from New South Wales were aligned with existing clubs and regions. The clubs aligned with the Western Sydney Rams were Eastwood, West Harbour, Parramatta and Penrith. All competed in the Tooheys New Cup and Shute Shield club competitions.
Brian Melrose was the head coach of the Rams in 2007. Melrose had coaching roles with Manly and the Australian Sevens team and was previously an assistant coach to the Waratahs. He played for Eastwood and Parramatta before taking up coaching.
The Western Sydney Rams played at Parramatta Stadium, which then had an all-seater capacity of 20,000. The Rams were the minor premiers of the 2007 ARC season. The team was knocked out of the 2007 finals by the Melbourne Rebels at the semi-final stage.
The Australian Rugby Championship was terminated at the end of 2007 after only one season of competition, with the Australian Rugby Union citing higher costs than budgeted and further projected financial losses. The Western Sydney Rams team was disbanded with the end of the ARC competition.
Greater Sydney Rams (NRC team)
The National Rugby Championship was announced in December 2013 to commence in 2014 with expressions of interest open to any interested parties with accepted bids to be announced early 2014.
In March 2014 it was announced that the Rams would be revived as the Greater Sydney Rams to compete in the new National Rugby Championship, and the team's original colours from the ARC would be maintained.
The new Rams team, representing Greater Sydney, was formed by Greater Sydney Rams Pty Ltd – a syndicate of private investors in partnership with (initially) five Shute Shield clubs: Eastwood, Parramatta, Penrith, Southern Districts, and West Harbour. In late June 2014, Eastwood withdrew financial backing from the Rams, and ended their formal association with the team. The Rams' shareholdings are split with three quarters being held by the syndicate of investors and the remainder held by the clubs (5% being kept aside for Eastwood should they wish to become a partner).
The naming rights sponsor for the Rams is the workplace relations law firm, People + Culture Strategies (PCS). Other partners include Pacific Restaurants, chaired by businessman Rick Hutchinson.
The Rams appointed Brian Melrose as head coach for the 2014 season, renewing their association with the coach that took the Western Sydney Rams to the minor premiership in 2007. For the first NRC match of 2014 the Rams named 21 year-old Jed Holloway, from the Southern Districts club, as captain of the team.
The home ground for the Rams is Parramatta Stadium, known for sponsorship purposes as Pirtek Stadium. It is the home of the National Rugby League club, the Parramatta Eels, and A-league team Western Sydney Wanderers. The current stadium was built in 1985, and at present has an all-seater capacity of 20,700. Prior to Parramatta Stadium, Cumberland Oval existed on the grounds from 1847 to 1981. Rugby union was played at Cumberland Oval from 1879 through to 1939. However, after the Parramatta Eels won their first of 3 consecutive grand finals in 1981, the old wooden grandstand at Cumberland Oval was burnt down by a mob of drunken Eels' fans. The construction of Parramatta Stadium began in the early 1980s, and the new stadium was opened in 1986.
(c) Denotes team captain, Bold denotes player is internationally capped, 1 denotes allocated national player additional to the contracted squad.
- Playoff appearances: 2007 (ARC)
National Rugby Championship
Year Pos Pld W D L F A +/- BP Pts Play-offs 2014 5th 8 3 1 4 254 265 −11 2 16 Did not compete
Australian Rugby Championship
Year Pos Pld W D L F A +/- BP Pts Play-offs 2007 1st 8 5 0 3 239 149 90 7 27 Semi-final loss to the Melbourne Rebels by 23–3.
2014 Greater Sydney Rams squad – NRC
- Jared Barry
- Andrew Clyne
- Jed Holloway (c)
- Dylan Sigg
- Senio Toleafoa
- Chris Alcock
- Marcus Carbone
- Michael Kovacic
- Sakaria Noa
- Hugh Perrett
- Patrick Sio
- Auvasa Faleali'i
- Mark Swanepoel
- Lalakai Foketi
- Tom Hill
- Tevita Kuridrani1
- Apolosi Latunipulu
- Michael McDougall
- Henry Seavula
- Henry Taufua
- Ben Batger
- Jerome McKenzie
(c) Team captain.
1. Allocated national player additional to the contracted squad.
2007 Western Sydney Rams squad – ARC
- Ben Alexander LHP (Eastwood)
- Aaron Broughton-Rouse THP (Eastwood)
- James Lakepa PR (Manly)
- Peter Niumata PR (Penrith)
- Benn Robinson LHP (Eastwood)
- Josh Mann-Rea HK (Manly)
- Tatafu Polota-Nau HK (Parramatta) V-Capt.
- Ben Roberts HK (West Harbour)
- Wil Brame FL (Manly)
- Ben Coridas FL (Eastwood)
- Mark Howell FL (West Harbour)
- Gareth Palamo FL Eastwood)
- Hugh Perrett FL (Eastwood)
- Tom Egan N8 FL (Easts)
- Josh Holmes SH (Eastwood)
- Dave Rimmer SH (West Harbour)
- Kurtley Beale FH (Norths)
- Josh Weeks FH CE (Parramatta)
- Fa'atonu Fili FH FB (No Club)
- Rory Sidey CE (West Harbour)
- Luke Johnson CE WG (Manly)
- Chris Siale CE WG (Manly)
- Filipo Toala WG (Eastwood)
- Lachlan Mitchell WG CE (Sydney Uni)
- Ben Martin UB (Eastwood)
- Lachie Turner FB WG (Eastwood) Capt.
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- "Our colours were chosen to reflect our previous incarnation in the ARC". twitter.com/Rams_Rugby. 23 March 2014. Archived from the original on 26 March 2014. Retrieved 26 March 2014.
- "We're a team representing the 5 Great districts of Sydney!". twitter.com/Rams_Rugby. 23 March 2014. Archived from the original on 26 March 2014. Retrieved 26 March 2014.
- "Eastwood quit Greater Sydney Rams partnership". ESPN Scrum. 2 July 2014. Archived from the original on 16 July 2014. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
- "The Rams are welcoming back Brian "Billy" Melrose as Head Coach in 2014". twitter.com/Rams_Rugby. 4 May 2014. Archived from the original on 26 March 2014. Retrieved 9 May 2014.
- "PCS Greater Sydney RAMS name side to face NSW Country Eagles in their first NRC Game". Rams Rugby. 21 August 2014. Archived from the original on 25 August 2014. Retrieved 25 August 2014.
- "Pirtek Stadium". austadiums.com. Archived from the original on 5 July 2014. Retrieved 5 July 2014.
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- "Qantas Wallabies player alignments unveiled for 2014 Buildcorp National Rugby Championship". Australian Rugby. 21 July 2014. Archived from the original on 24 July 2014. Retrieved 21 July 2014.
- ramsrugby.com.au official website
- Greater Sydney Rams on facebook.com
- Greater Sydney Rams on twitter.com