BRISBANE CITY HISTORY
The development of Rugby in Brisbane is inextricably linked with the overall development of the game in Queensland.
Even before the establishment of the Northern Rugby Union, which later became the QRU, teams playing in the Brisbane competition combined to play as Brisbane. The first recorded such game was played against Ipswich on 17 August 1878.
The rise of Rugby in country areas provided a challenge for Brisbane City Rugby players. Intercity matches have been played on a regular basis for the duration of the game’s history in Queensland, with cities such as Charters Towers (before WWI) and Toowoomba (in the 1930s) providing stiff competition.
Many visiting provincial and international teams have included a game against Brisbane on their playing schedule. While most games in Brisbane against touring teams were played as a Queensland representative side, there have been four occasions when a Brisbane team has hosted international opposition: 1904 Brisbane v British, 1908 Brisbane v Anglo-Welsh, 1932 Brisbane/Ipswich v All Blacks, 1951 Brisbane v All Blacks and 1954 Brisbane v Fiji.
Since the re-establishment of the Queensland Country Rugby Union in 1965, Brisbane City has been involved in annual competitions with the country unions.
Brisbane teams have always been drawn from Premier Grade clubs competing in the Brisbane competition. There have been many changes in the clubs participating since the 1880s and the current clubs are Norths, Souths, Easts, Wests, Sunnybank, GPS, University and Brothers.
Many of the household names of Australian Rugby such as Mark Loane, Andrew Slack, Tony Shaw, and Michael Lynagh have worn the Brisbane City jersey.
QUEENSLAND COUNTRY HISTORY
Rugby in Country Queensland traces its roots to the formation of the Toowoomba Rugby Union in 1886, just three years after the establishment of the Northern Rugby Union (which became Queensland Rugby Union) in 1883.
The game flourished prior to the First World War and away from Toowoomba, Charters Towers proved to be a dominant force in the game while Ipswich, Gympie, Maryborough, Bundaberg, Roma, Warwick and North Queensland also participated in intrastate matches. The first match between a Queensland Country representative team and Brisbane came when Queensland Rugby Union introduced Country Week carnivals in 1902. Brisbane won the first match narrowly, 16-15.
The outbreak of the First World War severely impacted the heath of the game throughout Queensland and Country Rugby continued to suffer from the growth of Rugby League during the 1920s and 1930s. The Second World War would once against halt the game in many regional areas, including Toowoomba.
Country Rugby began its resurgence in the 1960s with the formation of the Toowoomba Rangers Rugby Club in 1963, which sparked the rise of the Risdon Cup competition in the Darling Downs region. The Gold Coast and Wide Bay Rugby Unions were formed in February 1965, and on the 16th May the first ever meeting of the Queensland Country Rugby Union (QCRU) was held in Warwick and attended by Darling Downs, Gold Coast and Wide Bay Unions.
The first-ever Queensland Country representative team of the newly formed QCRU played its first match on June 12 1965 against Central Northern NSW at the Moree Showground.
From there on Queensland Country Rugby has continued to produce some of the most well-known names in Queensland Rugby, including Sam Scott-Young (Townsville), Tim Horan (Darling Downs), Jason Little (Darling Downs), Garrick Morgan (Darling Downs) and Peter Grigg (Townsville).