Greater Sydney Rams

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Greater Sydney Rams
Logo of The Greater Sydney Rams Rugby Union team.svg
PCS Greater Sydney Rams
Founded 2007
Western Sydney (ARC)

2014
Greater Sydney (NRC)
Location Western Sydney, Australia                             
Ground(s) Parramatta Stadium
(Capacity: 20,700)
Coach(es) Brian Melrose
Captain(s) Jed Holloway
League(s) National Rugby Championship
2007 ARC Semi-Finalist   (Western Sydney)
1st kit
2nd kit
Official website
ramsrugby.com.au

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.[1]

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.[2]

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.[3] 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.[4] The law firm, People + Culture Strategies (PCS), is the Rams' naming rights partner.[5]

Name and colours[edit]

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.[6] The Rams' colours of orange and blue mirror the colours of the City of Parramatta.[7][8]

History[edit]

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.[9]

Western Sydney Rams (ARC team)[edit]

The Rams' 2007 logo.
Rams' colours (ARC)

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.[6]

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.[10] 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.[10]

The Western Sydney Rams played at Parramatta Stadium, which then had an all-seater capacity of 20,000.[11] 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.[12] The Western Sydney Rams team was disbanded with the end of the ARC competition.

Greater Sydney Rams (NRC team)[edit]

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,[13] and the team's original colours from the ARC would be maintained.[14]

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.[3][15] In late June 2014, Eastwood withdrew financial backing from the Rams, and ended their formal association with the team.[16] 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).[3]

The naming rights sponsor for the Rams is the workplace relations law firm, People + Culture Strategies (PCS).[5] Other partners include Pacific Restaurants, chaired by businessman Rick Hutchinson.[3]

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.[17] 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.[18]

Stadium[edit]

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.[19] 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.

Current squad[edit]

The squad for the 2014 National Rugby Championship season:[20][21]

 

Props

Hookers

Locks

  • Australia Jared Barry
  • Australia Andrew Clyne
  • Australia Jed Holloway (c)
  • Australia Dylan Sigg
  • Australia Senio Toleafoa
 

Loose Forwards

  • South Africa Chris Alcock
  • Australia Marcus Carbone
  • Australia Michael Kovacic
  • New Zealand Sakaria Noa
  • Australia Hugh Perrett
  • Australia Patrick Sio

Scrum-halves

Fly-halves

 

Centres

Wingers

Fullbacks

(c) Denotes team captain, Bold denotes player is internationally capped, 1 denotes allocated national player additional to the contracted squad.

Records[edit]

Honours[edit]

  • Playoff appearances: 2007 (ARC)

Season standings[edit]

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.

Head coaches[edit]

Captains[edit]

Squads[edit]

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "ARU Board approves nine team National Rugby Championship to start in August 2014". rugby.com.au (Press release). 24 March 2014. Archived from the original on 24 March 2014. Retrieved 24 March 2014. 
  2. ^ "Australia relaunches National Rugby Championship". rugbyweek.com. 24 March 2014. Archived from the original on 24 March 2014. Retrieved 24 March 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d Shooter, Nev (16 July 2014). "SDRC’s involvement with the Greater Sydney RAMs". Southern Districts Rugby. Archived from the original on 11 August 2014. Retrieved 11 August 2014. 
  4. ^ "NRC update part 2: NSW Country and the Sydney teams". The Roar. 9 July 2014. Archived from the original on 9 July 2014. Retrieved 9 July 2014. 
  5. ^ a b Nelson, Felicity (21 August 2014). "The laws of the game". Lawyers Weekly. Archived from the original on 21 August 2014. Retrieved 21 August 2014. 
  6. ^ a b "Western Sydney Rams Ready to Charge". rugby.com.au (NSWRU). 20 March 2007. Retrieved 20 March 2007. [dead link]
  7. ^ "Orange is our primary". twitter.com/Rams_Rugby. 23 March 2014. Archived from the original on 26 March 2014. Retrieved 26 March 2014. 
  8. ^ "Blue has been a part of rugby history in Western Sydney since the founding of the Two blues in 1879". twitter.com/Rams_Rugby. 23 March 2014. Archived from the original on 26 March 2014. Retrieved 26 March 2014. 
  9. ^ "NSW unveils three team structure for national comp". ESPN Scrum. 6 September 2006. Archived from the original on 13 July 2014. Retrieved 13 July 2014. 
  10. ^ a b "Melrose to Lead Western Front". waratahs.com.au. 17 January 2007. Archived from the original on 15 October 2007. Retrieved 20 March 2007. 
  11. ^ "Parramatta Stadium". austadiums.com. Archived from the original on 5 October 2007. Retrieved 20 March 2007. 
  12. ^ "ARU pull plug on Australian Rugby Championship". ESPN Scrum. 18 December 2007. Archived from the original on 12 July 2014. Retrieved 12 July 2014. 
  13. ^ "Australian Rugby Union says National Rugby Championship to start in August". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Archived from the original on 30 March 2014. Retrieved 20 July 2014. 
  14. ^ "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. 
  15. ^ "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. 
  16. ^ "Eastwood quit Greater Sydney Rams partnership". ESPN Scrum. 2 July 2014. Archived from the original on 16 July 2014. Retrieved 2 July 2014. 
  17. ^ "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. 
  18. ^ "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. 
  19. ^ "Pirtek Stadium". austadiums.com. Archived from the original on 5 July 2014. Retrieved 5 July 2014. 
  20. ^ "Greater Sydney Rams name NRC Squad for 2014". The Roar. 1 August 2014. Archived from the original on 1 August 2014. Retrieved 1 August 2014. 
  21. ^ "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. 

External links[edit]