Southern Suburbs Rugby Union Club is a grassroots club based in leafy Clarence Gardens. Founded in 1946, we are one of the oldest continuously operating Rugby Clubs in South Australia. With 10 teams and over 300 active members, we are also one of the largest clubs in the State.
Today (2016) Southern Suburbs currently have over 200 juniors registered and in 2015 between 6 teams ranging from U7’s to U18’s and over 190 senior players between 4 Seniors teams (Mens Div 1 – Div2 – Div 3es.
Southern Suburbs Rugby Union Football Club is located in Clarence Gardens and has been the home of South Australian Rugby Union finals series for the last 10 years. Our facilities have two rugby fields which are used for the final weekends and we are the only club that has a covered grand stand which sits over 400 supporters who get to enjoy the finals at Southern Suburbs Football grounds. Over the three weekends in which the finals are held, Southern Suburbs host over 20,000 spectators, and players from all over Adelaide.
It is Southern Suburbs mission to build a sound and successful Rugby Union program that contributes to nurturing and encouraging team work whilst building individual confidence, self-respect, unity, and individual skill development. Do this by providing an environment where families are welcomed, valued, accepted and included in all that the club does within the community and individual lives.
Southern Suburbs Rugby Union Football Club was established in 1946. The founders of the club where inspired by the South Sydney Rugby League team regarding colours and design. Originally the clubs name was going to be South Adelaide however there was an AFL team that already had that name so Southern Suburbs was to be the new name.
The Southern Suburbs (South’s) first game was played in the area where the old Army Camp was on Daws Rd (opposite the Repatriation Hospital) There wasn’t any turf, just weeds and bushes which the boys cleared before the game that day.
During the next few years, players that are still known in rugby today (and who still support the club) appeared on the scene. Several premierships were won during this period the most enjoyable being “A” grades in Div.2 (1951), and Div.2 in 1971 and most recently 2007.
Hello to all you rugby fans out there, my name is Les Herbert(top row third from left) & I have been asked by the Club to give you all a brief outline on how & when the Southern Suburbs Rugby Club was first formed over 60 years ago.
It was a Sunday night in August 1945, like most Sunday nights in those days a group of us lads used to gather at one and others place to play the old vinyl records & discuss the happenings of the past week & to plan things for the coming weeks.
This particular night in Doug Averay’s sleep out, Doug told us his brother was playing Rugby for the West Torrens Club & wanted to know if any of us were interested in playing Rugby.
One thing led to another & we decided to look into starting our own Club in Colonel Light Gardens. To cut a long story short, a meeting was arranged with members of the S.A. Rugby Union.
As I recall it was six or seven of us (Bert Laker, Doug Averay, Frank Muller, John Gibson, Lindo Walloschek, & yours truly) met with Sir Kenneth Milne, Jack Case, & Jim Carroll of the SARU in an old Church on Piccadilly Circus in Colonel Light Gardens, August 1945.
Halfway through the meeting there was a power failure throughout the Suburbs & all the lights in the room went out. Doug Averay said his Dad had a pressure lantern at home, so off he trundled on his bike & in a half an hour he was back & the meeting continued.
The “Pros& Cons” of starting a Rugby Club of our own were discussed. The SARU were willing to help us as much as they could. In the weeks to follow we all pressed on to recruit as many of our mates & parents as we could to get the Club off the ground. During what was left of the Rugby season for that year a group of us went to Hindmarsh oval on a regular basis to learn how to play this game.
In the “Off” season we arranged to get Doug Starling a former player from NSW who had shifted to SA to live, to be our Coach. We decided on what colors & design our jumpers would be & purchased a set of knitted wool jumpers.
The design was based on South Sydney Rabbitos & the name of the Club also inspired by South Sydney, (being a southern suburb of Sydney) we thought why not call ourselves Southern Suburbs (South Adelaide was already an Aussie rules Club).
In 1946 we fielded our first team in the SARU competition. An area in the old Army Camp on Daws Road (opposite the Repatriation Hospital) was our first “home” ground. Mind you there wasn’t any turf on it, just weeds & bushes, which we cleared before we could play on it.
As years went by we eventually got a lease on Kingswood Oval complete with change sheds & hot showers & all. (Whacko) Regarding dates of the moves, they escape now, but from here on we had our good times as well as our share of bad ones. However my main purpose of this item is to give you an idea when & how this wonderful Club was started.
Many of the Historians of the Club will no doubt be able to fill you in on the progress through the years up to the present time. I would like to thank the Club for giving me the opportunity of being able to put pen to paper & give you some idea how & when this great Club formed.
My sincerest regards to you all,
(One of the Founders of the Club)
Club Senior Men’s history
1950 Div 2 Minor Premiers & Div 3 Grade Premiers
1951 Div 2 Premiers
1963 Div 2 Premiers
1971 Div 2 Premiers
1976 Div 4 Minor Premiers
1978 Div 4 Runners Up
1979 Div 4 Runners Up
1981 Div 4 Runners Up
1982 Div 4 Runners Up
1983 Div 3 Minor Premiers
1984 Div 3 Minor Premiers
1997 Div 2A Premiers
2000 Div 1 Runners Up
2003 Div 1 Premiers
2004 Div 1 Runners Up
2007 Div 1 Premiers & Minor Premiers
2010 Div 4 Runners Up
2011 Div 4 Minor Premiers & Runners Up