With 2015’s fixture list settled, it’s time to look at who Quins have in waiting over the coming 5 months of rugby. After coming so close to success last year, this term is notable for the entry of 3 ‘new’ teams to Division 4 of NSW Suburban rugby:
Briars Rugby Union – http://www.briarsrugbyunion.com/
Taking their name from a house at which their original founders played way back in 1918, this club came down from Division 3 over the summer. After a dispute with the Suburban rugby board, last year’s winners Redfield were granted their place after a reorganisation. Briars have aimed to regain their place for their centenary year, and will be a tough club to beat. If Quins’ kit wasn’t colourful enough, our fixture with them will prove to be a happy one – Briars wear sunflower yellow.
Beercroft Rugby Club – http://www.beecroftrugby.com/
One of the newer clubs in existence (1998), this club were in the 1st Division as recently as 2009. Beercroft have the enviable status of being sponsored by (amongst others) a bakery, and will also pose a big threat to the Quins lofty reputation in Division 4.
Merrylands Wolves Rugby Union – http://www.merrylandsrugby.com/
Playing in yellow and black, Wolves are almost 50 years’ old and based near Parramatta. Unlike the first 2, they are a club coming up, and shouldn’t be underestimated. With a strong youth club and even a woman’s side, this trip west won’t be an easy one for either team.
And now for some clubs we certainly do know…
Sydney Irish Rugby Football Club – http://www.sydneyirishrfc.com/
Based in nearby Coogee, the Irish have been rivals ever since we’ve been shared a division. They’ve only existed for 3 years, and were spurned from Sydney’s burgeoning expat population in the city’s Eastern Suburbs. Sponsored by about as stereotypical an Irish brand as you can find, these Exiles are a source of good humour for Quins – not least considering the healthy number of countrymen that play for us already. Always a tough game, always a fun one.
* Please ask any club tourists about what happens if you’re ever caught wearing a Sydney Irish shirt…
Sydney Convicts Rugby Club – http://sydneyconvicts.org/
The Convicts celebrated their 10-year anniversary last year, and were founded as an arm of the older Woollahra Colleagues RFC. They’re proudly regarded as one of the best gay rugby clubs in the world, and have toured extensively around the world to the UK, the US and more. Convicts form one of 2 other ‘inner city’ clubs in the division, and are a regular fixture for friendlies and trial games.
Canterbury Rugby Union Club – http://canterbury.rugbynet.com.au/
The Union-version of the more famed Bulldogs in League’s NRL, Canterbury always present a tough challenge. Born in the 60s, they’re still one of the only clubs to own their own ground and have done so for over 25 years. Canterbury host annual 7s tournaments, and typically present tough forwards.
Blacktown Warriors Rugby Union Football Club – http://www.blacktown.rugby.net.au/
The Alwyn Lindfield Reserve often hosts the league’s finals day, and Blacktown are usually playing in them! Last year saw a much-improved back-row, and they lost their closely-fought semi-final with eventual winners Redfield Old Boys in 1st Grade. They’re also brave enough to still have orange in their club colours…
Rouse Hill Renegades Rugby Club – http://www.renegades.net.au/
Despite having McDonalds amongst their supporting companies (true story), Rouse Hill won all 3 of their trial games against Division 3 opposition before their first game this weekend. 2014 was a disappointing one by their own standards, and they’re keen to rebuild. Amazingly, they’ve raised well over $100k in charity donations over the last 8 years for good causes, and continue to be a strong community club. They always perform well against us, too.
Macquarie University Rugby Football Club – http://macrugby.com.au/
Recently re-branded to ‘Mac Warriors’, this club is an arm to the University. Don’t be deceived, only around half the players are students, and have prestigious heritage. Along with the Sydney Convicts, Mac have the honour of playing at the Allianz just before NSW Waratahs v New Zealand Highlanders this April. They are usually quick and unpredictable.