Brighton Rugby – History 1


The Brighton Tigers – Blood for Supper

In late 1950 Phil Campbell and a couple of other Rugby nuts, got together in the back of Phil’s butcher shop in Glenelg and decided to form the Kingston Rugby Club. The name was chosen over Glenelg to give more area cover over the Kingston Electorate. The players were mainly a few buddies who had learnt to play the game whilst in the services in World War II. In 1951 the inaugural team was entered in the second division in the South Australian competition.

The players trained at Wigley Reserve near the Buffalo Restaurant on a Thursday night with 5 or 6 players attending and by Saturday we would field a team.

Every opportunity was taken to recruit new players, someone would

  • Hear of a Kiwi working somewhere, contact him and ask him to play;
  • Hear a Welsh accent and approach him to play; or
  • Meet a South African in a pub and sign him up.

These processes are still being used today and contribute to the diverse base of community members of all age and genders. A league of nations!

In 1952 another name change was made to reflect the area in Adelaide where the players resided and the clubs became known as the Glenelg Rugby Union Football Club and moved to its new home at Bailey Reserve in Edwardstown.

In the mid 1950’s the club changed direction and vigorously pursued a junior program including the creation of the Glenelg District Primary School Rugby Competition. The juniors blossomed in the early 1960’s and continues to be a major focus of the club.  This strategy has been and continues to be a major contributing to the success of the club.

In 1975 club members identified a disused soccer ground that was on the clubs current site. A new club house was built with funds mainly provided by the members and with assistance from the then Brighton City Council. In order to reflect the location the clubs name was changed to the Brighton Rugby Union Football Club.

In 2006 the Club recognised that it would eventually need new premises and commenced a Building fund from the yearly allocation of 25% of sponsorship funds being allocated to the fund. In 2014 discussions commenced with the City of Holdfast Bay Council for the building of a new Club House. After many stalled attempts the monies for the building of the new club house on the western side of the playing field were allocated. The facilities include an upstairs bar, dining area, entertainment area and a drop down balcony for easy viewing of games. The ground floor area consists of 4 change rooms, a community room, canteen, office, referees change rooms and lift.

In 1990 the club entered its first women’s team which unfortunately faded. In 2017 the club entered a women’s team that finished a creditable 3rd in its first season. The club continues to support and promote women to play the game and be involved in all facets of the club.

Our players have represented Australia in international events; been State representatives in both Senior and Junior sides; made the Australian Schoolboys team; the Australian Combined Services First Fifteen. Our coaches have trained Australian Junior and Australian Schoolboys teams; State and Representative teams. The legendary coach Barry Cooper coached 17 First division sides to premierships as well as numerous representative sides. The legacy created by numerous outstanding coaches over the decades continues to day and is reflected on our success on the field.

The forbearers of the club in their wildest dreams could not have imagined the impact that they had in the success of the Brighton Rugby Club. It all came about by a couple of mates wanting a game of rugby – nothing has changed!


In 1967 the club won the under 14’s junior premiership and in the next 4 seasons another 5 junior premierships were won. In 1965 the club won its first senior premiership in Division two.

History was made in 1968 when Glenelg won its first “A” grade premiership and on the same day had premiership success with the under 14’s, 16’s, 18’s and were runners up in the 2nd division.

The premiership record is unmatched and includes a world record 10 consecutive First Division Premierships, 1972 to 1981. Since 1968 the club has won 35 First Division Premierships.

Since the club was formed by those couple of mates the records the premierships won stand at:

SENIORS                                                                                              JUNIORS

Division 1                             35                                                           U19/U18                              29

Division 2                             18                                                           U17/U16                              19

Division 3                             14                                                           U15/14                                 22

Division 4                               4                                                           U12                                        11

Division 5                               1                                                           U10                                          1

Division 6                               1

A proud record.

Current teams

The number of playing members generally number between 280 and 300.

The club is represented in the men’s and women’s first divisions, and men’s second and third divisions.

The junior teams are under 7’s, 8’s, 10’s, 12’s, 14’s, 16’s and 18’s teams.