Brisbane City (rugby team)
|League(s)||National Rugby Championship|
Brisbane City is an Australian rugby union football team based in Brisbane that competes in the National Rugby Championship (NRC). The team is one of two Queensland sides in the competition, the other being Queensland Country. Brisbane City is organised and managed by the Queensland Rugby Union (QRU), with the coaching and training programs utilised by the Queensland Reds being extended to players joining the team from the Reds and Queensland Premier Rugby teams.
The Brisbane City team in the NRC takes its identity from the metropolitan rugby team that has represented Brisbane for more than a century. The Brisbane representative team's colours and a similar logo have been inherited for the new competition. The Brisbane City uniform is yellow and blue, with a crest of the City Hall logo within Queensland Rugby's traditional ‘Q’ on the jersey's chest.
The NRC was launched in 2014, reinstating the national competition after the Australian Rugby Championship (ARC) was discontinued following the first season in 2007. The Brisbane City NRC team utilises existing QRU staffing roles and infrastructure, with the team's home ground and training base located at QRU's headquarters at Ballymore.
Brisbane's earliest recorded intercity football match under Rugby Union rules took place on 19 August 1878 when Brisbane FC played Ipswich FC. The teams played again three weeks later under Victorian Rules. This was five years before the foundation of the Northern Rugby Union (the NRU, which was later to become the QRU). In the early years of rugby in Queensland, teams from country areas such as Toowoomba, Rockhampton and Charters Towers were Brisbane's main on-field rivals.
Brisbane representative sides have been selected from the premier clubs in the city's competition for more than a hundred years to play teams from other areas of Queensland as well as international and provincial touring sides. A Brisbane Metropolitan side played the visiting British Isles team in 1904, and later Brisbane representative teams played the All Blacks in 1951 and Fiji in 1954.
The first City-Country rugby match between Brisbane and Queensland Country (selected from the rest of Queensland) was held at the inaugural Country Week carnival hosted by the QRU in 1902. Country Week carnivals became sporadic with the rise of rugby league after 1909, and the start of the First World War brought rugby union to a halt in Queensland in 1914. The QRU was revived in 1928–29, but rugby languished in country regions of the state for many years.
City-Country matches were resumed in 1965. From 1968 until 1982, annual Country Carnival competitions were held from which the Country team was selected to play Brisbane and other representative sides. The Country Carnival was discontinued in favour of State Championships in 1983, and the format of competition has varied over time, but City-Country matches between representative teams from Brisbane and Queensland Country have remained regular fixtures since.
Ballymore Tornadoes (ARC team)
In 2006, after setting up a consultative process culminating in a working session of some 70 delegates from around the country, the Australian Rugby Union announced that a new, eight-team national competition would commence in 2007 to compete for the Australian Rugby Championship (ARC).
The Ballymore Tornadoes was the Brisbane-based team in the ARC, and the team played its home matches at Ballymore Stadium. The team's colors were maroon, blue and silver. The Ballymore Tornadoes side was one of two Queensland teams supported by the QRU in the competition, alongside the East Coast Aces.
Queensland's two teams in the ARC were aligned with existing clubs and regions. The Tornadoes were aligned with six Queensland Premier Rugby clubs north of the Brisbane River – Brothers, GPS, Norths/QUT, Sunshine Coast, University and Wests. Chris Roche, a former Wallaby who played 17 Tests as well as 49 matches for the Reds during the 1980s, was the head coach of the Tornadoes. Paul Healy was the assistant coach.
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. The Tornadoes team was disbanded with the end of the ARC competition.
Year Pos Pld W D L F A +/- BP Pts Play-offs 2007 7th 8 2 0 6 180 229 -49 3 11 Did not compete
National Rugby Championship
In December 2013, the ARU announced that the national competition was to be relaunched, with the National Rugby Championship (NRC) commencing in 2014. Expressions of interest were open to any interested parties, with the accepted bids finalised in early 2014. There was initial interest from Brisbane clubs in forming NRC teams themselves, but to eliminate the risks to sub-unions and clubs the Queensland Rugby Union decided to organise and manage two teams centrally for the first year of the competition. On 24 March 2014, it was announced that the Brisbane City and Queensland Country teams would play in the NRC competition.
The home ground for the Brisbane City team is Ballymore. The stadium was built in 1966 and is the traditional home of Queensland Rugby. The Queensland Reds played their home matches in the Super Rugby competition at Ballymore until the end of the 2005 season, before they moved to the larger Suncorp Stadium for 2006. Ballymore has a capacity of around 24,000. Test matches have also been played at Ballymore, including Bledisloe Cup matches, and a semi-final of the 1987 Rugby World Cup.
Brisbane City also played a home game at Suncorp Stadium in 2014, as the curtain raiser to the Bledisloe Cup match.
The squad for the 2016 National Rugby Championship season:
(c) Denotes team captain, Bold denotes player is internationally capped, 1 denotes allocated national player additional to the contracted squad, WTS denotes Wider Training Squad.
National Rugby Championship
Year Pos Pld W D L F A +/- BP Pts Play-offs 2016 7th 7 2 0 5 216 306 −90 1 9 Did not compete 2015 1st 8 8 0 0 400 174 +226 6 38 Grand final win over Canberra Vikings by 21–10 2014 3rd 8 6 0 2 295 257 +38 2 26 Grand final win over Perth Spirit by 37–26
2015 Brisbane City squad – NRC The squad for the 2015 National Rugby Championship season:
- Alex Casey
- Matt Mafi
- Andrew Ready
- Luke Beauchamp
- Liam Gill (c)
- Scott Higginbotham1
- Adam Korczyk
- Chazz Mahina
- Ted PostalWTS
- Michael Richards
- Waita Setu
- Criff Tupou
- Patrick James
- Andrew MuirheadWTS
(c) Team captain
1 National player additional to contracted squad.
WTS Wider Training Squad.
2014 Brisbane City squad – NRC The squad for the 2014 National Rugby Championship season:
- Matthew Feaunati
- Brando Va'aulu
(c) Team captain
1 National player additional to contracted squad.
2007 Ballymore Tornadoes squad – ARC
- Ben Coutts THP (Souths)*†
- Greg Holmes LHP (Sunnybank)*
- Peter Loane THP (Norths)
- Brett Naylor THP (GPS)
- Shon Siemonek LHP (Sunshine Coast)
- Ernest Skelton LHP (Wests)*†
- Leroy Houston BR (Sydney)*
- Steve Miller BR (GPS)
- Tom McVerry BR (GPS) Captain*
- Ray Stowers BR (Norths)
- Scott Higginbotham N8 (Wests)**
- Charles Wyllie N8 (Sunshine Coast)
- Blair Connor CE WG (Norths)**
- Brett Gillespie CE (University)**
- Byron Roberts OB (GPS)
- Tim Sampson CE (Sunnybank)
- Donovan Slade CE (GPS)†
- Paul Doneley OB (Brothers)
- Elia Tuqiri WG FH (GPS)
- Anthony Sauer OB (Brothers)
- Clinton Schifcofske FB (Wests)*
* Contracted Queensland Reds player
** Reds Academy player
† Player not in initial squad
‡ Did not play
Quade Cooper takes a conversion for Brisbane City
Brisbane City scrum down against North Harbour Rays
Brisbane City win a lineout against North Harbour Rays
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