Western Sydney Rams

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Western Sydney Rams
Western Sydney Rams logo 2016.png
PCS Western Sydney Rams
Founded 2007 
(as Western Sydney Rams)
re-formed as Greater Sydney
2014, Western Sydney 2016.
Location Western Sydney, Australia                 
Ground(s) Concord Oval
(Capacity: 20,000)
Coach(es) John Muggleton
Captain(s) Paul Asquith
League(s) National Rugby Championship
2007 ARC Semi-Finalist
1st kit
2nd kit
Official website
ramsrugby.com.au

The Western Sydney Rams is an Australian rugby union team that competes in the National Rugby Championship (NRC). The team is one of three sides from New South Wales in the competition; the other two being the Sydney Rays and New South Wales Country Eagles.

The Western Sydney Rams team in the NRC takes its identity from the 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.[1]

The revived Rams team for 2014 was backed by a syndicate of private investors in partnership with four Sydney rugby clubs; Parramatta, Penrith, Southern Districts and West Harbour.[2] The Eastwood club was initially included in the partnership but withdrew prior to the 2014 season.[3]

A law firm, People + Culture Strategies (PCS), was announced as the Rams' naming rights partner for the 2014 to 2016 seasons.[4]

Name and colours[edit]

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.[5] The 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. Orange and blue mirror the colours of the City of Parramatta.[6][7]

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.[8]

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Western Sydney Rams logo 2007.png
2007 Western Sydney Rams kit and logo.
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ARC: Western Sydney Rams[edit]

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.[9] 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.[9]

The Western Sydney Rams played at Parramatta Stadium, which then had an all-seater capacity of 20,000.[10] 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.[11] The Western Sydney Rams team was disbanded with the end of the ARC competition.

Greater Sydney Rams[edit]

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Logo of The Greater Sydney Rams Rugby Union team.svg
2014 Greater Sydney Rams kit and logo.
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Tatafu Polota-Nau with Greater Sydney 'Horned Army' Fans in 2014.

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,[12][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.[2][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).[2]

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] In 2015, former Wallaby assistant coach Jim Williams was appointed Rams coach.

Western Sydney Rams[edit]

The franchise reverted to its original name of Western Sydney Rams for the 2016 NRC season.[19] Consideration was given to the Southern Districts Rugby Club switching to the newly renamed Sydney Rays, but the club decided to remain a shareholder of the Rams.[20] Former Australian assistant coach John Muggleton was named as the Rams' new head coach for the 2016 season, with Jeremy Paul and Joel Wilson appointed as assistant coaches.[20]

The Horned Army[edit]

Since 2014 the Greater Sydney Rams have had the most entertaining and committed fan base in all of Australian Rugby. Great groups like the Gold Brigade have sprouted following the success of this die hard group. The group is most famous for their "Horns" that fans have been highly sort after since there creation in 2014. They have coined popular sayings "Get Horny" and "Get Rammed". A fan favourite "Lolly Legs" is called out by one loud fan while the opposition lines up a kick at goal. You can find them across all forms of social media, on Twitter at @thehornedarmy and on Instagram and Facebook as "The Horned Army". Members of the supporter group believe being a part of The Horned Army is one of the greatest honours a rugby fan can have. If you'd like to be a part of The Army, join the group on the sideline at any home game.

Sponsorship[edit]

The naming rights sponsor for the Rams is the workplace relations law firm, People + Culture Strategies (PCS).[4] Other partners in the 2014 season included financial advice firm Evalesco Financial Services, owned by Jeff Thurecht and Marshall Brentnall, ARC Group, owned by Cameron Ryan and Pacific Restaurants, chaired by businessman Rick Hutchinson,[2] and the University of Western Sydney. In the 2015 and 2016 seasons the RAMS were sponsored by People + Culture Strategies, ARC Group, Evalesco Financial Services and The Digital Athlete.

Stadium[edit]

Previous Rams home grounds
Venue   Location   Capacity
Forshaw Park Sutherland Shire 2,000
Granville Park Merrylands 5,000
Parramatta Stadium Parramatta 20,700

As of 2016, the home ground for the Rams is Concord Oval which is also the home of West Harbour in the Shute Shield competition. Concord hosted eight matches during the 1987 Rugby World Cup, including a semifinal.

The Rams previously played at Parramatta Stadium,[21] which is also the home of the National Rugby League club, the Parramatta Eels, and A-league team Western Sydney Wanderers. The site was originally known as Cumberland Oval and rugby union was played there from 1879 through to 1939. The old wooden grandstand was burnt down in the early 1980s and Cumberland Oval was redeveloped into Parramatta Stadium which opened in 1986.

In 2015, the Rams consortium clubs of Parramatta and Southern Districts also hosted home matches.[22]

Current squad[edit]

The squad for the 2016 National Rugby Championship season:[23]

 

Props

Hookers

Locks

  • Australia Ngaruhe Jones
  • Australia Bradford Kapa
  • Australia Senio Toleafoa
  • Australia Will Skelton
  • Fiji Albert Tuisue
 

Loose Forwards

  • Australia Tom Alexander
  • Australia Taunaola Kei
  • Australia Jordan Tuapou
  • New Zealand Filimone Tufui
  • Cook Islands Tyrone Viiga

Scrum-halves

Fly-halves

 

Centres

  • Australia Paul Asquith (c)
  • Fiji Robaleibau Buaserau
  • Australia Denny Godinet
  • Australia David Minute
  • Australia Apolosi Latunipulu

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  
2016 6th 7 2 0 5 264 266 −2 5 13   Did not compete
2015 9th 8 1 0 7 242 363 −121 3 7   Did not compete
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. ^ "Australia relaunches National Rugby Championship". rugbyweek.com. 24 March 2014. Archived from the original on 24 March 2014. Retrieved 24 March 2014. 
  2. ^ 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. 
  3. ^ "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. 
  4. ^ a b Nelson, Felicity (21 August 2014). "The laws of the game". Lawyers Weekly. Archived from the original on 24 August 2014. Retrieved 21 August 2014. 
  5. ^ "Western Sydney Rams Ready to Charge". rugby.com.au (NSWRU). 20 March 2007. Retrieved 20 March 2007. [dead link]
  6. ^ "Orange is our primary". twitter.com/Rams_Rugby. 23 March 2014. Archived from the original on 26 March 2014. Retrieved 26 March 2014. 
  7. ^ "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. 
  8. ^ "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. 
  9. ^ 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. 
  10. ^ "Parramatta Stadium". austadiums.com. Archived from the original on 15 October 2007. Retrieved 20 March 2007. 
  11. ^ "ARU pull plug on Australian Rugby Championship". ESPN Scrum. 18 December 2007. Archived from the original on 12 July 2014. Retrieved 12 July 2014. 
  12. ^ "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. 
  13. ^ "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. 
  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 9 May 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. ^ a b "New coach confident Western Sydney Rams will be a threat". 9 July 2016. Archived from the original on 17 July 2016. Retrieved 17 July 2016. 
  20. ^ a b "Questions and answers – 2016". Rams Rugby. 16 July 2016. Archived from the original on 17 July 2016. Retrieved 17 July 2016. 
  21. ^ "Pirtek Stadium". austadiums.com. Archived from the original on 5 July 2014. Retrieved 5 July 2014. 
  22. ^ a b "Greater Sydney Rams are ramping up rugby in your backyard for 2015". Rams Rugby. 12 June 2015. Archived from the original on 13 June 2015. Retrieved 13 June 2015. 
  23. ^ "The Western Sydney Rams: Team List". Daley Rugby. 22 August 2016. Archived from the original on 23 August 2016. Retrieved 23 August 2016. 
  24. ^ "PCS RAMS Team Announcement for 2015 NRC Season". Rams Rugby. 4 August 2015. Archived from the original on 4 August 2015. Retrieved 4 August 2015. 
  25. ^ "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. 
  26. ^ "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]