AURugby History


The Adelaide University Rugby Union Football Club (AURugby) is the oldest rugby union club in South Australia, being the only surviving competition foundation club in the State.
The club was founded on the 14th of July 1932 and played its first game on the 16th of July 1932 against the Royal Australian Navy Reserves, a game that ended in an appropriate 15-15 draw. Since then, the club has been a constant feature in the South Australian Rugby Union competition, winning an array of premierships across the grades and producing players who have represented the State and Australia.


Since its inception AURugby has won 18 premierships:

Premier Grade 1934
Premier Grade 1938
Reserve Grade 1938
Reserve Grade 1939
Premier Grade 1948
Premier Grade 1950
Premier Grade 1951
Premier Grade 1953
Premier Grade 1960
Premier Grade 1964
Premier Grade 1965
Premier Grade 1966
Reserve B Grade 1985
Women’s Grade 1995
Third Grade 1999
Premier Reserves 2005
Division Two Reserves 2011
Division Two Reserves 2014

In addition to these honours, the AURUFC has been competition runners up many times:

Premier Grade 1933
Premier Grade 1936
Premier Grade 1937
Reserve Grade 1937
Premier Grade 1939
Premier Grade 1947
Premier Grade 1949
Third Grade 1949
Premier Grade 1955
Third Grade 1955
Premier Grade 1958
Reserve Grade 1964
Premier Grade 1974
Third Grade 1974
Reserve A Grade 1985
Reserve A Grade 1986
Reserve B Grade 1986
Women’s Grade 2000
Women’s Grade 2001
Women’s Grade 2002
Women’s Grade 2003
Division Two 2012
Division Two Reserves 2013

Don Smith Medal Recipients

The Don Smith Medal is the highest individual honour a player in the South Australian Rugby Premier Grade competition can receive. It recognises outstanding on-field performance throughout a season and is awarded after an extensive competition-wide voting process. The AURUFC’s Don Smith Medal recipients are listed below:

STATE & nATIONAL Representatives

From its foundation AURugby has had many South Australian representatives, both at senior and junior levels. Also, AURugby has the rare honour of having had two of its players (Malcolm van Gelder and Graham Gibbs) represent Australia in the national side ‘the Wallabies’.

The ability to obtain Adelaide University Half and Full Blues is a unique aspect of being a member of AURugby.

  • A Full-Blue is the highest award conferred by Adelaide University Sport to a University of Adelaide student in recognition of oustanding ability in a particular sport.
  • A Half-Blue is the second award conferred by Adelaide University Sport to a University of Adelaide student in recognition of outstanding ability in a particular sport which although highly impressive is not sufficient to allow the awarding of a Full Blue.

Since its inception AURugby has had a large number of both Full and Half Blue recipients:

Full Blue Recipients:

2014 Bron Lett
2010 Delano Leen
2004 Joshua Sutcliffe
2001 Petrus Du Toit
2001 Jack Glover
1987 GT Attwood
1987 JA Baldock
1975 J Cape
1971 W Bund
1970 R Laidlaw
1967 DJ Ashton
1967 MP Horwood
1966 N Jans
1966 D Rosewell
1966 B Westerman
1965 NJ Blakeley
1965 SA Hohnen
1965 DH Lemessurier
1964 C Freeman
1964 RW Ritchie
1964 JD Thomson
1961 A Barker
1961 MJ Moffatt
1960 NJ Howard
1960 Z Staska
1959 BM Debelle
1959 J Staska
1958 YS Fong
1958 FRA Jorgensen
1958 AJ Radford
1956 GS Baron-Hay
1956 JTR Rosewell
1956 MM Van Gelder
1955 JR Hogan
1955 MG McCall
1955 RBK Tan
1955 MJ Williams
1954 GR Gibbs
1954 TW Turner
1953 FA Hone
1953 WC Hui
1953 A Robinson
1952 CS Ayoub
1952 BA Higgins
1951 RG Evans
1950 AJD Forbes
1950 GNR Hone
1950 JKS Probert
1950 WE Sandover
1950 EA Smith
1949 PA Lawton
1948 MV Burton
1948 B Nienaber
1947 JR Botham
1947 W Carter
1946 J Mellor
1946 KGP Tregonning
1939 TG Edwards
1939 FA Hamilton
1939 RW Richardson
1938 GM Neuenkirchen
1937 B Freeman
1937 AH Magarey
1937 ML Reilly
1936 AJ Fairweather
1936 AMCQ Thomson
1935 KS Edmunds
1935 JP Hayden
1935 RE Porter
1935 JH Portus
1934 HEW Lyons
1934 DP O’Connor

Half Blue Recipients:

2009 Lilian Bodard
2009 Christopher Chattaway
2009 Timothy Cooper
2006 Hugh Sheppard
2005 Stuart Hordern
2003 Rachael Collett
2002 Matthew Adams
1999 Robert Geddes
1999 Joshua Sutcliffe
1996 Oliver Carr
1996 Dylan Holland
1996 Amanda Kaye
1996 Emma Lowe
1996 George Ujvary
1995 James Sprules
1985 Brian Sullivan
1984 Hugh Jones
1979 Richard MacKinnon
1975 John Carver
1973 Mitch Hardi
1972 Chas Norman
1971 Colin Hanses
1969 Bruce Foster
1969 J Gilmore
1969 J Prowse
1968 GA Mitchell
1968 R O’Keefe
1965 NA Jans
1965 RM Millar
1965 R Usback
1965 B Westerman
1964 PG Allen
1964 SA Hohnen
1964 D Rosewell
1964 DM Rosewell
1963 C Freeman
1962 RE Clay
1961 R Hare
1948 AD Jose

Women’s Team

The AURugby women’s team was formed in 1995 being the founding team of the South Australian Rugby Union Women’s competition. The founding of the side led to the the formation of an Old Collegians women’s side in the same year and these two teams contested the first game of women’s rugby in South Australia at Waite Oval, a game which AURugby won convincingly. Despite the ever-changing number of opposition teams the AURugby women’s team was a constant feature in the competition until 2005 when low numbers forced the team to fold. However, the ‘Blackbirds’ hold a special place in the Club’s history and will hopefully be revived in the near future.

Life Members

Life membership of the Adelaide University Rugby Union Football Club is the highest honour that can be bestowed on a member of the club. It recognises both significant service on and off the field by the member. Current club life members (with the year of award) are: