City vs Country Origin

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City vs Country Origin
City vs Country Origin logo.png
SportRugby league
Inaugural season1987 (Origin rules)
Number of teams2
CountryAustralia (NSWRL/CRL)
Shield HoldersCity colours.svg City (2017)
Most titlesCity colours.svg City (68 titles)
Broadcast partnerNine Network
Related competitionState of Origin

City vs Country Origin was an annual Australian rugby league football match that took place in New South Wales between City and Country representative sides. The City side represented the Sydney metropolitan area. While technically it was Sydney vs. the rest of NSW, players from the Central Coast (such as Matt Orford and Mark O'Meley) often represented City, but other players from the Central Coast (such as Chris Heighington) represented Country. The Country side represented the rest of New South Wales.

The concept of an annual clash between a City and Country team originally started in 1911 with a Metropolitan side taking on the Country team. The first match officially took place on 10 June 1911 with City taking the victory 29 to 8. It would take another seventeen years before an annual clash between an official City and Country side was agreed upon during the 1928 season.

Both sides were originally made up of the best players playing in the Country Rugby League of New South Wales and the Sydney-based NSWRL Premiership. However, the increasing drain of players from rural areas to the NSWRL clubs led to the City side becoming increasingly dominant and the Country side uncompetitive. The 'origin rule' for player qualification being introduced in 1987 so players in NSWRL clubs originally from outside Sydney became eligible to represent Country.

The players who represented the City and Country sides came from the National Rugby League competition in Australia. The match was played before the State of Origin series and was often referred to as a selection trial for the New South Wales Blues team.

On 21 November 2016, the NRL announced that the City v Country annual match would be scrapped, with the 2017 match to be the final edition.[1]


Country versus City had long played a part in New South Wales sporting history, with the first traces of the concept being linked back as far as 1886. The then Southern Rugby Football Union (later to become the NSWRU) would hold an annual `test match' between a Combined Countrymen and Metropolis sides, with the match to be used by the organisation for picking players for NSW.

The concept took off and by the early 1900s `Country Week', as it was titled, became a major component of the Rugby calendar. This rivalry between City and Country continued to occur after Rugby League was formed in 1907. However, it was only in 1911 that rugby league held its first recorded City V Country clash. While there is some indication that a match may have been played in 1910, the code's infancy probably resulted in the game not being of a high enough standard to be recorded.

The representative match was played on a laissez-faire basis in League up until 1928 when the Country Rugby League and New South Wales Rugby League saw the value in making the tournament an annual match. This was understandable at the time for League, as many areas in Country NSW had not even heard of League until late 1927.

Newcastle was the first non-Sydney town to take up the code in 1909 in its own domestic competition, which was boosted by the participation of the Newcastle Rebels in the NSWRL Sydney competition in 1908 and 1909. The Illawarra region followed in 1910, but further away from Sydney it took longer for the code make any impact.

By the time the match was made a permanent fixture, interest in the concept was high enough to make it sustainable. However, similar to State of Origin before 1980, Country Rugby League faced the problem of its major players being snapped up by the richer Sydney clubs, draining the regional representative sides. This assisted City's domination of the fixture.

It was not until 1987, with the recent inclusions of Canberra, Illawarra and Newcastle in the NSWRL competition, that the "player drain" issue was addressed. The Origin rule, which was also used to revive the State of Origin concept, proved invaluable in giving Country the player base it needed to compete with the City team. However, Country only recorded their first win five years after the concept was introduced, in 1992.

Country then won three out of the five years after their first Origin victory before the City vs Country concept was removed from the representative scene (much like the World Sevens and Kangaroo Tours) as a result of the Super League War.

The competition was not revived until four years later, when the National Rugby League saw the match's value in terms of media exposure, television ratings and the merit of taking the fixture to country towns (the last time the game was played in Sydney was 1993 at Parramatta Stadium while the last full time NRL ground to host the game was WIN Stadium in Wollongong.

The last fixture was played in Mudgee on 7 May 2017, with more NRL games being played in regional New South Wales instead.[1]

City vs Country results[edit]

Overall summary[edit]

Games played: 93

Team Wins Losses Draw
City colours.svg City Origin 68 22 3
Country colours.svg Country Origin 22 68 3

Year by year[edit]

The table below shows the results of the annual City vs Country games from 1928 to the present day. The colour of the year denotes the team that has won or retained the shield.

Under residency selection rules
1928 Country 35 City 34
1929 City 16 Country 5
1930 Country 35 City 26
1931 City 17 Country 15
1932 City 27 Country 14
1933 City 47 Country 16
1933 City 17 Country 17
1934 City 28 Country 14
1934 City 32 Country 29
1935 City 20 Country 5
1936 City 41 Country 8
1937 Country 20 City 12
1937 Country 15 City 5
1938 City 42 Country 12
1939 City 38 Country 17
1940 City 28 Country 10
1941 City 44 Country 21
1942 Country 14 City 11
1943 City 37 Country 25
1944 City 17 Country 10
1945 City 41 Country 12
1946 City 31 Country 10
1947 City 33 Country 10
1948 City 28 Country 13
1948 Country 10 City 6
1949 City 23 Country 2
1950 City 51 Country 13
1951 City 24 Country 6
1952 City 23 Country 21
1953 Country 28 City 27
1954 City 50 Country 9
1955 City 31 Country 18
1956 City 32 Country 17
1957 City 53 Country 2
1958 City 55 Country 14
1959 City 37 Country 7
1960 City 22 Country 2
1961 Country 19 City 5
1962 Country 18 City 8
1963 City 35 Country 11
1964 City 27 Country 4
1965 City 32 Country 2
1966 City 18 Country 14
1966 Country 16 City 12
1967 City 17 Country 16
1968 City 34 Country 14
1969 City 27 Country 20
1970 City 22 Country 18
1971 City 17 Country 0
1972 City 35 Country 6
1973 City 33 Country 17
1974 City 23 Country 0
1975 Country 19 City 9
1976 City 47 Country 0
1977 City 36 Country 0
1978 City 30 Country 13
1979 City 39 Country 0
1980 City 55 Country 2
1981 City 38 Country 7
1982 City 47 Country 3
1983 City 30 Country 13
1984 City 38 Country 12
1985 City 18 Country 12
1986 City 34 Country 16
Under origin selection rules
1987 City 30 Country 22
1988 City 20 Country 18
1989 City 16 Country 8
1990 City 28 Country 26
1991 City 22 Country 12
1992 Country 17 City 10
1993 City 7 Country 0
1994 Country 22 City 2
1995 City 16 Country 8
1996 Country 18 City 16
1997 Country 17 City 4
1998 Not Held
2001 Country 42 City 10
2002 City 26 Country 16
2003 City 17 Country 16
2004 Country 22 City 18
2005 City 29 Country 22
2006 Country 12 City 10
2007 City 12 Country 6
2008 City 22 Country 22
2009 City 40 Country 18
2010 Country 36 City 18
2011 Country 18 City 12
2012 City 24 Country 22
2013 Country 18 City 12
2014 Country 26 City 26
2015 Country 34 City 22
2016 City 44 Country 30
2017 City 20 Country 10

2017 City vs Country Match[edit]


Country Origin Position City Origin
Michael Gordon
Eastern Suburbs colours.svg
Penrith Panthers square flag icon with 2017 colours.svg
Matt Moylan
Anthony Don
Gold Coast Titans colours.svg
Parramatta colours.svg
Clint Gutherson
Mitchell Aubusson1 (c)
Eastern Suburbs colours.svg
Newcastle colours.svg
Nathan Ross
Cheyse Blair
Melbourne colours.svg
Penrith Panthers square flag icon with 2017 colours.svg
Tyrone Peachey
Brian Kelly
Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg
Melbourne colours.svg
Josh Addo-Carr
Cody Walker
South Sydney colours.svg
Penrith Panthers square flag icon with 2017 colours.svg
Bryce Cartwright
Tyrone Roberts
Gold Coast Titans colours.svg
Cronulla colours.svg
Chad Townsend
Dale Finucane
Melbourne colours.svg
Penrith Panthers square flag icon with 2017 colours.svg
James Tamou
Damien Cook
South Sydney colours.svg
St. George colours.svg
Cameron McInnes
Paul Vaughan
St. George colours.svg
Cronulla colours.svg
Paul Gallen (c)
Tariq Sims
St. George colours.svg
2nd Row
Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg
Curtis Sironen
Kyle Turner
South Sydney colours.svg
2nd Row
Parramatta colours.svg
David Gower
Jack De Belin
St. George colours.svg
St. George colours.svg
Hame Sele
Connor Watson
Eastern Suburbs colours.svg
Cronulla colours.svg
Joseph Paulo
Matt Prior
Cronulla colours.svg
Penrith Panthers square flag icon with 2017 colours.svg
Nathan Cleary
Adam Elliott
Canterbury colours.svg
Newcastle colours.svg
Pauli Pauli
Daniel Alvaro
Parramatta colours.svg
St. George colours.svg
Jake Marketo
Country colours.svg
Craig Fitzgibbon
Coach Brad Fittler
City colours.svg

1 - Euan Aitken was originally selected to play but withdrew due to injury. Mitchell Aubusson was shifted from Second Row to Centre and Aitken was replaced by Daniel Alvaro.

Match details[edit]

7 May 2017
4:15pm (AEST)
Country colours.svg Country Origin 10 – 20 City Origin City colours.svg
Anthony Don (36') 1
Adam Elliott (58') 1
Michael Gordon 1/2
[2] Tries:
1 (10') David Gower
1 (49') James Tamou
1 (80') Bryce Cartwright
3/3 Clint Gutherson
(12', 40' pen, 51')
1/1 Paul Gallen
Glen Willow Regional Sports Stadium
Mudgee, New South Wales
Attendance: 8,322
Referee: Ashley Klein, Alan Shortall
Man of the Match: City colours.svg James Tamou

Women's City vs Country Origin[edit]

The Women's City vs Country Origin is the Women's rugby league version of the game and has been running since 2017.[3][4][5]

2017 Women's City vs Country Match[edit]


Country Origin Position City Origin
Brittany Constable Fullback Tahlia Hunter
Rikeya Horne Wing Taleena Simon
Jayme Fressard Centre Nakia Davis-Welsh
Donna Sutton Centre Karri Doyle
Amy Broadhead Wing Kate Mullaly
Talia Atfield Five-Eighth Lavina Phillips
Kylie Hilder Halfback Allana Ferguson
Georgina Brooker Prop Eunice Grimes
Tammy Fletcher Hooker Rebecca Riley
Jennaya Ottaway Prop Ruby Ewe
Erin Blackwell 2nd Row Talesha Quinn
Phoebe Desmond 2nd Row Jasmin Allende
Margaret Watson Lock Nicole Backhouse
Alicia-Kate Hawke Interchange Kayla Peck
Jerry Burgmann Interchange Vanessa Foliaki
Jade Etherden Interchange Kaarla Cowan
Hollie Wheeler Interchange Botille Vette-Welsh
Country colours.svg
Mick Young
Coach Chris Studdon
City colours.svg

Match details[edit]

14 May 2017
Country colours.svg Country Origin 8 – 20 City Origin City colours.svg

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "NRL scraps City v Country fixture, last edition to be played in Mudgee in 2017". ABC News. 21 November 2016.
  2. ^ Kennedy, Chris (7 May 2017). "City edge past Country for final time".
  3. ^ "Women's NSW City, Country squads named". 9 May 2017. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  4. ^ "UPDATED TEAMS - Women's Country And City Origin". 10 May 2017. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  5. ^ "Slick City Women Overpower Country". 14 May 2017. Retrieved 9 April 2018.

External links[edit]