the home for lovers of rugby in victoria
who we are
Rugby is the world's most popular contact sport. But in the birthplace of Aussie Rules, lovers of the game they play in heaven are well and truly outnumbered. The Rugby Club of Victoria was founded to provide a home for rugby players, supporters and fans, a place where we can come together and share our love of the game, raise funds to support its growth and through our actions, demonstrate to Victorians the values of rugby.
We are a completely independent grassroots organisation with no connection to
the Melbourne Rebels, Rugby Victoria, or Rugby Australia.
Share our love of the game
Come together to watch a game, enjoy a classic rugby lunch and talk rugby till your cauliflower ears drop off!
Help Grow Rugby in Victoria
Raise funds and resources and allocate them to ideas to grow the game in Victoria
Burnish the values of rugby
By our actions, we live the values of rugby and show Victorians what sets it apart
Share your passion for the game they play in heaven
we WELCOME all lovers of rugby
Membership is open to anyone with a love of rugby that wants to help grow the game in Victoria.
Membership fees for 2022 have been set at just $25 and the application process is easy.
Click below to apply for membership, or contact us to find out more.
help grow the game in victoria
Initiatives we support
We raise funds and allocate them to the best ideas for growing rugby in Victoria. Club members meet three or four times a year to consider applications from the rugby community for funds and resources that will get more people playing and enjoying our game. Every Club member has a vote on what initiative to support, meaning we all play an active role in helping grow the game.
If you have an idea that needs money or resources - people, skills, introductions - contact us to discuss the application process. We are actively looking for ideas no matter how big or small! Preference is given to ideas with Statewide potential, we wouldn't usually support ideas of benefit to one club or school.
Establish a new junior club
We'll not only help with the cost of new jerseys, balls and equipment, but we'll put you in touch with others who have done it before.
establish a rugby 7s comp
We can help with ground hire, promotion, prize money and know-how.
Run A rugby intervention program
We can help fund and resource a program that uses rugby to improve the lives of at-risk young Victorians
bring rugby to a new community
We can help you bring rugby to under-represented Victorian communities
subscribe to our podcast
The Spirit in Rugby Union
In this fascinating podcast series you'll hear the inspirational stories of famous and not-so-famous people, people from all walks of life and from all round the world and the role that rugby and the game's distinct values have played in shaping their lives and achievements.
The Spirit in Rugby Union, produced by The Rugby Club of Victoria, seeks to grow an awareness and love of this great game, take it to new audiences and connect with the existing worldwide rugby community.
We are founded and run by grassroots rugby nuts
Meet the Committee
John Anderson is President of The Rugby Club of Victoria. He has carried the idea of forming a Social Club for all rugby lovers since he helped out at the Rebels around 2013 and was made aware of research that showed there were over 500,000 rugby followers in Victoria of which 250,000 were deemed passionate followers. This created a curiosity as to “where were these supporters and why were they not visible” resulting in a determination to create a Home for Social Rugby.
His passion for the game comes from a strong belief in The Spirit of Rugby and the values attributed to this. It creates “a great foundation to create great individuals“.
John’s involvement in Rugby in Victoria has been focused on innovative ways to grow the game, or keep people in the game.
John is accredited with aligning Wheelchair rugby with the rest of the community, for hosting a number of rugby networks, and being a foundation member of VS Barbarians, a club that sought to keep school boys in the game post school and making Old Boy rugby a feature again.
Justin Bown is Vice President of The Rugby Club of Victoria.
He played schoolboy, club & representative rugby in Melbourne and currently coaches and referees junior club rugby.
Justin's great passion is growing the game - he has been involved in establishing a junior rugby club, touch rugby centres, out-of-school programs and the Victorian Touch7s girls rugby competition. He leads our activities in finding and funding initiatives to grow the game.
Tom O’Brien is the secretary of The Rugby Club of Victoria and having grown up in the UK has been involved with rugby for many years. While In Singapore Tom was involved in coaching and managing one of the largest junior rugby clubs in Asia, and since arriving in Melbourne, has been involved in the rugby parents association at his sons school.
“I’ve been lucky to have been touched by rugby and it’s supportive community throughout my life, and it has presented me with a lot of enjoyment and also opportunities. I was very happy therefore, together with John Anderson, to be involved in setting up VS Barbarians which aims to retain involvement of players in rugby post-school.”
Jeremy Canham has responsibility for all Club membership matters.
Jeremy coaches local junior club rugby & is a grassroots participation enthusiast. He is also a member of the VSRU parent association which aims to enhance the hospitality for newcomers & die hard rugby people, build participation & traditional rugby values on and off the pitch in school rugby.
Jeremy played for the Northampton Saints many many years ago & his youngest son is in the Rebels academy and plays 7s & 15s club rugby. Jeremy set up corporate Crusaders sponsorship & is a keen Rugby tourist! RWC’s S.Africa, UK, NZ & Lions tours, 7s etc.
Tom Harris is the Treasurer of The Rugby Club of Victoria, he likes numbers nearly as much as rugby.
Moving to Melbourne 20 years ago Tom felt deprived of rugby in Victoria, he believes we can grow the game and increase the connectivity of the rugby community in this great state.
Tom is a rugby supporter at many levels (to his astonishment never excelled on the pitch at 15s or touch 7s) and is encouraging his young children to play rugby tikes.
Joan Norton grew up in New York and began playing rugby at University.
She has played for and served on the committees of several Division 1 women's teams and held representative honours for U-23 and senior select sides for the Northeast and Mid Atlantic regions of the United States in 15s and played on several international tours with the Atlantis US Sevens team.
Upon coming to Australia in 2014 she helped Souths Rugby Club in Brisbane develop their women/girls program and led their premier women's team. Now retired from playing and relatively new to Melbourne she is looking for ways to give back to the sport that has given her so much over the years including growing the game for women and girls.
Gordon Bray AM
The Rugby Club of Victoria is honoured to have 'The Voice of Rugby', Gordon Bray AM as Patron. Gordon's name is synonymous with International Rugby broadcasting, having called more than 450 test matches and all nine Rugby World Cups. He is a sports journalist of over 40 years standing and as a best selling author, has penned titles including, 'The Australian Rugby Companion' and 'From the Ruck'.
Gordon's remarkable calling career has defined key moments in rugby folklore, coining expressions such as 'The Brighton Miracle', Japan's 2015 defeat of the Springboks and 'The Stairway to Rugby Heaven', Johnny Wilkinson's drop goal to win the 2003 Rugby World Cup, as well as his always entertaining player descriptions including 'The Taranaki Pig Farmer' (All Blacks Captain Dave Loveridge) and 'The Manawatu Meat Worker' (foranother All Black, Mark Shaw).
In 2000 Gordon was awarded the Australian Sports Medal for his services to rugby through refereeing and television broadcasting and in 2005 was recognised for his services to the community and for broadcasting and promotion of Rugby, by being made a Member of the Order of Australia.
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