Newcastle and Hunter Rugby Union

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The Newcastle and Hunter Rugby Union is one of Australia's oldest rugby union organisations, with a history dating back to the mid 19th century. The union is based in Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia.

History[edit]

Rugby Union was established in Newcastle on 5 June 1869, when the Volunteer Artillery team (8 players) challenged United Cricket Club (11 Players). The match was played in Centennial Park (currently Lowlands Bowling Club).

On 1 May 1877, a meeting at `Ship Inn` saw the foundation of Newcastle Football Club. 1887 also saw the formation of the Wallsend and Maitland Clubs.

In 1888, a meeting of Newcastle, Advance, West Maitland, Union and Ferndale Clubs saw a branch of the Southern Rugby Football (later NSWRU in 1892) established, this was known as the Northern Branch. This was the formation of the Newcastle Rugby Union.

Early clubs in the competition included Advance (1880); West Maitland (1885); Oriental (1885); Union (1885); Ferndale (1885); Waratah (1885); Raymond Terrace (1886); Carlton (1887); Centennial (1887); Lambton (1888); Wickham Albion (1888) and Greta (1890).

In 1911, the Northern Branch disbanded but was reformed in 1912 to be known as the Newcastle Branch. During 1915 - 1924, little rugby was played due to World War I and its aftermath. After a match between GPS Old Boys (Wanderers) and Novocastrians at Empire Park in 1925 a decision was made to reform the Newcastle Rugby Union; this was beginning of the current First Grade Competition.

During the period, the Hunter Valley Rugby Union was formed which consisted of clubs like Singleton, Muswellbrook and Scone but in 1996, the Hunter Valley Zone amalgamated with Newcastle to form the current Newcastle and Hunter Rugby Union.

Current Clubs[edit]

The Newcastle and Hunter Rugby Union now consists of 20 clubs across 3 Divisions plus a women's competition. There is a junior competition (Hunter Junior Rugby Union) accommodating age groups 7 through to 18.

  • Hamilton
    • Nickname: Hawks
    • Colours: Blue and Gold
    • Home Ground: Passmore Oval, Wickham
    • Joined competition: 1968
    • Premierships:1978, 1982, 1990 (tied), 2002, 2008, 2010, 2012
  • Lake Macquarie
    • (formerly known as Boolaroo)
    • Nickname: Roos
    • Colours: Maroon,Yellow and Dark Blue
    • Home Ground: Walters Park,Boolaroo
    • Joined competition:
    • Premierships: Nil
  • Maitland
    • Nickname: Blacks
    • Colours: Black, with white trim
    • Home Ground: Marcellin Park, Lorn
    • Joined competition:
    • Premierships: 1969, 1974(tied), 1976-7, 1983, 1991, 1994, 1998-99.(9)
  • Merewether Carlton
    • Nickname: Greens
    • Colours: Dark green
    • Home Ground: Townson Oval, Merewether
    • Joined competition:
    • Premierships: 1947, 1958, 1973, 1974 (tied), 1979 (tied), 1980, 1989, 2007, 2011 (9)
  • Nelson Bay
    • Nickname: The Gropers
    • Colours: Blue,Black and White
    • Home Ground: Strong Oval,Nelson Bay
    • Joined competition:
    • Premierships: Nil
  • Singleton
    • Nickname: The Bulls
    • Colours: Red and Black
    • Home Ground: Rugby Park,Howe St Singleton.
    • Joined competition: 1990
    • Premierships:1992,1995-7 (4)
  • Southern Beaches
    • Nickname: Beaches
    • Colours: Blue, Gold and Black
    • Home Ground: Cahill Oval,Belmont
    • Joined competition: 2007
    • Premierships: Nil
  • University
    • Nickname: Students
    • Colours: Maroon and White
    • Home Ground: University Oval No 1.
    • Joined competition: 1957 in first grade (1955 in the lower grades)
    • Premierships: 1959, 1961, 1962, 1966, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1988 (8)
  • Wanderers
    • Nickname: Two Blues
    • Colours: Sky blue and Royal blue
    • Home Ground: No. 2 Sports ground, Newcastle West
    • Joined competition:
    • Premierships: 1945, 1949, 1955–56, 1960, 1963–65, 1975, 1981, 1993, 2001, 2005, 2009 (14)
  • The Waratahs
    • Nickname: Waratah
    • Colours: Red, with white trim
    • Home Ground: Waratah Oval
    • Joined competition: 1944
    • Premierships:1946, 1950–53, 1957, 1967–68, 1970–72, 1979 (tied), 2003, 2006, 2013 (15)

Clubs competing in the lower First & Second Division competitions include:

Premiers[edit]

Year Premiers
1945 Wanderers
1946 The Waratahs
1947 Merewether Carlton
1948 Technical College
1949 Wanderers
1950 The Waratahs
1951 The Waratahs
1952 The Waratahs
1953 The Waratahs
1954 Mayfield East
1955 Wanderers
1956 Wanderers
1957 The Waratahs
1958 Merewether Carlton
1959 University/ Teachers College 2nd Grade Un-Defeated premiers.
1960 Wanderers
1961 University
1962 University
1963 Wanderers
1964 Wanderers
1965 Wanderers
1966 University
1967 The Waratahs
1968 The Waratahs
1969 Maitland
1970 The Waratahs
1971 The Waratahs
1972 The Waratahs
1973 Merewether Carlton
1974 Merewether Carlton (tied)
1974 Maitland (tied)
1975 Wanderers
1976 Maitland
1977 Maitland
1978 Hamilton
1979 Merewether Carlton (tied)
1979 The Waratahs (tied)
1980 Merewether Carlton
1981 Wanderers
1982 Hamilton
1983 Maitland
1984 University
1985 University
1986 University
1987 Mayfield East
1988 University
1989 Merewether Carlton
1990 Hamilton (tied)
1990 Mayfield East (tied)
1991 Maitland
1992 Singleton
1993 Wanderers
1994 Maitland
1995 Singleton
1996 Singleton
1997 Singleton
1998 Maitland
1999 Maitland
2000 Eastern Districts
2001 Wanderers
2002 Hamilton
2003 The Waratahs
2004 Eastern Districts
2005 Wanderers
2006 The Waratahs
2007 Merewether Carlton
2008 Hamilton
2009 Wanderers
2010 Hamilton
2011 Merewether Carlton
2012 Hamilton
2013 The Waratahs

Australian Test Representatives[edit]

The following players have played a Rugby Union Test for Australia.What about those who played Rugby League for Australai. See the 1959 Teachers' College 2nd Grade Team. The first player from the Newcastle region to represent Australia was C.J.B. White from the Maitland Club in 1899.

References[edit]