Eastern Suburbs RUFC (Canberra)
|Union||ACT & Sthn NSW Rugby Union|
|Nickname(s)||Easts, Easties, East Beasts, Beasties|
|Ground(s)||Griffith Oval (Capacity: N/A)|
|League(s)||ACTRU Premier Division|
The Eastern Suburbs Rugby Union Club Canberra, based out of Griffith, Australian Capital Territory, was founded in 1938.
Easts compete in the John I Dent Cup, the highest level rugby competition in the region.
'Easties' as they are affectionately known by their club members, has a rich and proud history. The club is responsible for producing some of Australia's most talented and respected rugby players. Easts are one of A.C.T rugby's foundation clubs, and were an integral part of the developmental process that has seen Canberra become known worldwide as one of the most influential and respected rugby playing cities.
Easts were once affiliated with the RMC Duntroon Rugby Club. RMC provided Easts with a plethora of rugby talent, and this dramatically increased the capacity of Easts to turn out competitive sides on a weekly basis. In the mid 80s the RMC rugby fraternity split from the Easts to establish itself as an independent entity. RMC now compete in the ACT Division 1 competition.
The club survived tumultuous years in the early 2000s, which saw the clubhouse in Manuka sold. Whilst Easts played regular finals football in these years, the financial stability and ongoing future of the club was in jeopardy.
Easts has survived in large part due to the diligent work undertaken under the former President, Mr Owen Brown in the years following the sale of the clubhouse, as well as many other dedicated club men and ladies.
2008 was a great year for Easts who made the grand final on the back of a strong playing roster and great depth in the clubs ranks. Easts narrowly lost to the Queanbeyan Whites 22–15 in an exciting match in front of a large crowd at Viking Park.
The period following the strong 2008 season has been dark for Easts, with 2009 to 2012 seeing the club struggle on the field, however a slew of new initiatives should see Easts again challenging for the John I Dent Cup in 2013.
2012 saw Brumbies head coach, Jake White (Springboks RWC winning coach) undertake an initiative to bolster the local ACT competition. This saw the introduction of five ACT Brumbies players allocated to Easts, including: Stephen Moore (Brumbies/Wallabies – Hooker), Jerry Yanuyanutawa (Fiji, Brumbies, London-Irish – Prop), Ben Hand (Brumbies, Grenoble RFC – Lock), Michael Hooper (Australian U20's, Wallabies, Brumbies, Waratahs – Flanker) and Andrew Smith(Brumbies -Fullback/Centres). Should these players not be named in the match 22 for the Brumbies in the Super 15 Competition, they will play for Easts.
This system is set to continue, with new Brumbies contracted players being allocated to local Premier Division clubs, with David Pocock, Clyde Rathbone, Jordan Smiler, Etienne Ooshuizen, Stephan Van der Walt and Ruan Smith joining Easts. Previous players associated with Easts, Stephen Moore and Andrew Smith are also amongst this group, who if not selected in the Brumbies match day side, will represent Easts in the John I Dent Cup. These professional players are also available for coaching and mentoring of Easts players and academy members, further strengthening the links with the local community as well as providing invaluable advice to Easts players.
2012 saw a change in presidency with Mr Arch Vanderglas taking on the role, and was re-elected to the presidency for 2013, alongside many changes to the Easts board and coaching ranks. This has invigorated the club, with many new and old faces alike joining the club for the 2013 season.
2013 will also see Easts celebrate their 75th anniversary. This coincides with the ACT's centenary celebrations, highlighting the strong history and ties the club has with the Canberra community, especially in the venerable old suburbs in the inner south, in which much of Canberra's early history revolved.
Easts currently participate in the ACTRU Premier Division based in Canberra. Easts have not secured a premiership title since 1947, with the club coming close in 2008, runners up to the Queanbeyan Whites.
|Player||Professional rugby union club||International team|
|George Gregan||Brumbies, Toulon, Suntory||Australia|
|Guy Shepardson||Brumbies, Queensland Reds||Australia|
|Henry Vanderglas||Brumbies, FC Grenoble||N/A|
|Roland Suniula||North Harbour, FC Auch Gers, CS Vienne, RC Chalon, Ohio Aviators||United States|
|Stephen Moore||Brumbies, Queensland Reds, Queensland County||Australia|
|Matt Giteau||Brumbies, Western Force, Toulon, Suntory||Australia|
- Gregan, George (2008). Halfback, Half Forward. Australia: Pan Macmillan. p. 19