Shute Shield

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Shute Shield
Shute Shield logo 2015.png
Logo introduced for the 2015 season
Sport Rugby union
Founded 1923
No. of teams 12
Country Australia
Most recent champion(s) Eastwood
TV partner(s) 7TWO (2015-present)
ABC (2000-2014)
Official website

The Shute Shield is a rugby union competition in Sydney, New South Wales. It is the premier grade rugby trophy in NSW rugby. The Shute Shield is awarded at the end of the Sydney Club Rugby season to the team that wins the Grand Final. The Shield is contested by the twelve NSWRU clubs.


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

The Shute Shield was struck in honour of the late Robert Elliott Stewart Shute, who died on 6 June 1922 aged 23,[1] following a match at Manly Oval. Shute served as an infantryman in 30th Battery A.I.F. during World War One. On his return to Australia he took up his studies at the University of Sydney and joined the Sydney University rugby club as a front row forward in the first XV. The Sydney Morning Herald, Wednesday 7 June 1922[2] reported:

As a result of injuries received while playing at Manly in the Rugby football match between the team which toured New Zealand and the Next 15, Robert Elliott Shute, a front row forward in the latter team, died at a private hospital at Manly yesterday morning. The accident occurred during the latter portion of the first spell of the match. Shute secured the ball and when tackled fell heavily. He was removed to a private hospital, where it was ascertained that he was suffering from cerebral hemorrhage. Without recovering consciousness he died at 6am. A former pupil of Sydney Grammar School, Shute, who was 23 years of age, was a third year student at Sydney University and he played for the University first fifteen. He served in the AIF for four years.

The University club had the shield made following his death and donated it in 1923 to the NSWRU to be used as a perpetual trophy for the Sydney first grade competition.[3]


There are currently twelve clubs that compete for the Shute Shield.

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 1927 (1947 first division admittance)
. . 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)
. . Penrith Penrith Nepean Rugby Park Emus 1965 (Shute Shield admittance 1995)
. . 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.1 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)


In previous seasons clubs from outside of the Sydney metropolitan area, such as the Illawarriors and Central Coast Waves have competed but do not continue to compete.

Competition Format[edit]

The competition format currently involves an 18 week round-robin competition which is followed by a four week play-off series culminating in a grand final. The playoffs are contested by the top eight placed teams following the round-robin. The eight finalists are initially split into two pools comprising the top four finalists and bottom four finalists. The first week of the play-offs sees 1st play 4th, 2nd play 3rd, 5th play 8th and 6th play 7th. The lowest ranked losers are elmininated and the highest ranked winners proceed directly to week 3 of the play-offs. Week 2 sees the highest ranked losers play the lowest ranked winners for the right to proceed to week 3 and play the two highest ranked winners from week 1. The two winners from week 3 proceed to the Grand Final in week 4.

Tooheys New Cup and ARC[edit]

From 2002 through 2007 the Tooheys New Cup was run to fill the void between Grade Rugby and Super Rugby in Australia. This competition was merged into the Shute Shield to become the Tooheys New Shute Shield when an attempt at an Australian wide domestic rugby competition, the Australian Rugby Championship, was started and stopped within one season in 2007. The Shute Shield competition was then extended to a full 22 match home and away round robin competition, culminating in the Grand Final in early October.

Similar competitions[edit]

Other premier rugby competitions in Australia:

Media coverage[edit]

Until 2014, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation had broadcast the Match of the Day from the Shute Shield competition in NSW/ACT every Saturday afternoon and replayed nationally on Tuesday mornings. The ABC ended its 57-year partnership with the competition at the completion of last season, following the Australian Government's decision to cut funding to the national broadcaster.

On March 17, 2015, NSW Rugby formally announced that the Seven Network would become the new free to air Match of the Day broadcasters of the Shute Shield in NSW, commencing on March 21 on 7TWO at 3pm between Eastern Suburbs and Gordon. The Prime Network will broadcast to regional areas of NSW.

Results and Grand Finals[edit]

In the years preceding (and including) 1931, a "Challenge Final" was played only if the runner-up side was two or less points behind the Minor Premiers on the Premiership table. Otherwise, the Minor Premiers were declared Premiers.

Shute Shield Era[edit]

Sydney Premiership Era[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "FOOTBALL FATALITY". The Brisbane Courier (Brisbane, Queensland: The Brisbane Courier). 7 June 1922. p. 4. Retrieved 25 July 2010. 
  2. ^ "FOOTBALLER'S DEATH". The Sydney Morning Herald (Sydney, New South Wales: The Sydney Morning Herald). 7 June 1922. p. 10. Retrieved 25 July 2010. 
  3. ^ "Local History from Manly Library". Manly Library. Retrieved 2 December 2009. 

External links[edit]

Shute Shield seasons
  • 1874
  • 1906-1914
  • 1919-2008