ACT and Southern NSW Rugby Union

The ACT and Southern NSW Rugby Union is the governing body for rugby union in the Australian Capital Territory and southern regions of New South Wales. The union is represented by one team in the Super Rugby competition, the Brumbies. The ACT is also home to the Canberra Vikings in the National Rugby Championship.

ACT and Southern NSW Rugby Union
Brumbies and Southern Inland Rugby Union office in Wagga Wagga (cropped).jpg
SportRugby union
Founded1937 (as Federal Capital Territory RU) (1937 (as Federal Capital Territory RU))
Rugby Australia affiliation1972
Men's coachDan McKellar
Women's coachAdam Butt
ACT and Southern NSW Rugby Union jurisdiction


The union was founded in 1937 as the Federal Capital Territory Rugby Union (FCTRU).[1][2] It became the Australian Capital Territory Rugby Union (ACTRU) in 1939,[3] and eventually the ACT and Southern NSW Rugby Union. It received its current name prior to the 2005 Super 12 season, when the Far South Coast and Southern Inland unions of New South Wales joined the ACT and Monaro Rugby Unions.[4] This change also led to the former ACT Brumbies being renamed Brumbies Rugby.


The ACT and Southern New South Wales Union has jurisdiction over the southern-most bordering towns of New South Wales from the eastern coast over to Albury-Wodonga and Deniliquin. It also includes Griffith, Young, Yass, Taralga, as well as Goulburn, Batemans Bay, Wagga Wagga and Canberra.


The ACT and Southern NSW Rugby Union administers three senior competitions:

  • ACT Rugby Union
  • Far South Coast Rugby Union
  • Southern Inland Rugby Union

ACTRU Premier Division (John I Dent Cup)Edit

ACTRU 1st XV Teams
Team City/Suburb/Town Home Ground
  Canberra Royals Canberra Canberra Rugby Club
  Gungahlin Eagles Gungahlin Gungahlin Enclosed Oval
  Penrith Emus Penrith, Sydney Penrith Rugby Club
  Queanbeyan Whites Queanbeyan Queanbeyan Rugby Club
  Tuggeranong Vikings Tuggeranong Viking Park
  Uni-Norths Owls Australian National University University Oval
  Wests Lions Belconnen Wests Rugby Club
Second Division
  Goulburn Dirty Reds Goulburn Goulburn Rugby Club

Far South Coast Rugby Union (Incorporated into ACTRU Lower Grades)Edit

This union is officially affiliated with the ACT and Southern NSW Rugby Union instead of the NSW union.

Team Nickname Owners
  Batemans Bay Boars
  Braidwood Redbacks
  Broulee Dolphins
  Bungendore Boooendore Jindabyne Bushpigs/Liam Pepper
  Cooma Red Devils
  Crookwell Dogs
  Hall Bushrangers
  Jindabyne Bushpigs
  Milton-Ulladulla Platypi
  Taralga Tigers
  Yass Rams

Junior TeamsEdit

Southern Inland Rugby UnionEdit

This union is officially affiliated with the ACT and Southern NSW Rugby Union instead of the NSW union.


Club City Home Ground
1st Grade
  Albury-Wodonga Steamers Albury/Wodonga Murrayfield
  Charles Sturt University Reddies Wagga Wagga Conolly Park
  Griffith Blacks Griffith Exies Oval No.1
  Tumut Bulls Tumut Jarrah Sportsground
  Wagga Ag College Wagga Wagga Conolly Park
  Wagga City Wagga Wagga Conolly Park
  Wagga Wagga Waratahs Wagga Wagga Conolly Park
2nd Grade Only
  Hay Cutters Hay Hay Park Oval
  Leeton Phantoms Leeton Leeton No.1 Oval

Junior ClubsEdit

Affiliated ClubsEdit

Former ClubsEdit

ACT representative teamsEdit

The Territory's representative team hosted the All Blacks at Manuka Oval in the winter of 1938.[citation needed] The Canberra side managed to score a try before the interval and trailed the visitors at half time by 24–5 before the New Zealanders went on to win by 57–5.[citation needed] Coached by Frank O'Rourke, the home team had played its inaugural match only three months earlier.[5][6]

The team's original strip featured an all gold jersey with two green bands.[7] They defeated the Hawkesbury College at the Country Carnival earlier in 1938,[8][9] and later that season won against the Bathurst side.[10] Three players from the Territory team were selected for NSW Combined Country to play Sydney that year.[9] The Australian Capital Territory team, often referred to simply as "Canberra", grew in stature in the decades following the Second World War.[citation needed] ACT won the Caldwell Cup for the Country Championship for the first time in 1964 and retained it for the following two seasons.[citation needed]

1990s Kookaburras rep team kit and logo.

Rugby in Canberra came of age in the 1970s. ACT scored a 17–11 away win over Queensland in 1972,[11] and then had their first win over a national side, defeating Tonga by 17–6 in 1973.[citation needed] In 1975, ACT won promotion for the following season to the top division of the Wallaby Trophy, Australia's provincial championship at that time.[citation needed] The triumph was short-lived, however, because the planned tournament for 1976 was officially cancelled.[citation needed]

When Wales toured Australia in 1978, the ACT defeated them in a rousing 21–20 come-from-behind victory.[citation needed] The win over the reigning Five Nations champions showed that ACT could compete against the top tier of rugby players in the world.[citation needed]

The name "Canberra Kookaburras" was used for the ACT representative team from 1989,[12][13] but it was to be a further five years before the Canberra Kookaburra club was officially founded. When the ACT comprehensively beat New South Wales by 44–28 in 1994,[citation needed] an invitation was issued for a Canberra club to play in the expanded 14-team NSWRU Premiership sponsored by AAMI for the following season.[citation needed]

Australian Rugby Shield Edit

The Vikings entered the Australian Rugby Shield in 2006, playing as the "ACT & Southern NSW Vikings" following the renaming of the ACT Rugby Union after its expansion into Southern New South Wales the previous season.[4] The team had two close matches against NSW Country and Perth Gold during the season, but managed to progress undefeated through the three pool games, semi-final and final to win the competition and take the shield. The Vikings played the Melbourne Axemen in the grand final at Viking Park and never looked back after the third minute when inside centre Josh Staniforth scored the first of the side's five tries for the match in a 36–10 win. In 2022, with the Revival of Australian Rugby Shield ACT and Southern New South Wales Griffins were crowned champions defeating NSW Country 34-31 in the Grand Final at Brighton Oval, Adelaide.[14]

Historical Kit


  • Australian Rugby Shield Winners (2006, 2022)

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Rugby Union". Canberra Times. 21 July 1937. p. 4. Retrieved 24 December 2015.
  2. ^ "Club Control – Rugby Union By-Laws". Canberra Times. 23 March 1938. Retrieved 27 December 2014.
  3. ^ "Rugby Union. 'Year full of promise'. Annual meeting held". Canberra Times. 28 March 1939. p. 4. Retrieved 24 December 2015.
  4. ^ a b "Historic change for South Coast rugby union". Batemans Bay Post. 10 November 2004. Archived from the original on 26 May 2014. Retrieved 26 May 2014.
  5. ^ "Rugby Union. Fire Brigades here for big game. Manuka Oval today". The Canberra Times. 14 May 1938. p. 3. Retrieved 24 December 2015.
  6. ^ "Rugby Union. Fire Brigades win. Canberra beaten but not disgraced,". The Canberra Times. 16 May 1938. p. 2. Retrieved 24 December 2015.
  7. ^ "Rugby Union. Representative team's training. Smoke Concert". The Canberra Times. 10 May 1938. p. 2. Retrieved 24 December 2015.
  8. ^ "Country Week". Truth. Sydney. 12 June 1938. p. 7. Retrieved 8 February 2017.
  9. ^ a b "Rugby Union. FCT win in Sydney". The Canberra Times. 13 June 1938. p. 5. Retrieved 11 January 2016.
  10. ^ "F.C.T wins brilliantly. Bathurst beaten in fast Rugby Union game". The Canberra Times. 22 August 1938. p. 2. Retrieved 11 January 2016.
  11. ^ "ACT upsets Queensland". The Canberra Times. 3 July 1972. Retrieved 24 December 2015.
  12. ^ Foster, Michael (12 April 1989). "Fijians out for revenge in ACT". The Canberra Times. Retrieved 24 December 2015.
  13. ^ "Fiji vs Canberra Kookaburras". Fiji Rugby. 12 April 1989. Archived from the original on 6 November 2014. Retrieved 1 August 2014. Alt URL
  14. ^

External linksEdit