Illawarra’s oldest Rugby Club

Vikings Rugby Club was formed at a Special General Meeting held at the Ironworkers Club on Crown St in 1958. Vikings Rugby Club celebrated its 60th Anniversary in 2017 and is still going strong in 2023. Vikings is the oldest and most successful club in the Illawarra.

The leading light behind Vikings formation was a local primary school teacher, Bill Burrows. Bill was a highly regarded centre who had previously played with the Wollongong Surf Club Rugby Team. Vikings attracted many of its members from Wollongong Surf in its formative ears and continues to do so.

Players who moved to Vikings after Wollongong Surf disbanded in 1961 included John Martin, Ted Tobin, Terry Tobin, Brian Tobin, Bruce Bowman, John Lobson, Jim Humphries and Denis Taylor. Vikings also attracted players from the Steelworks Rugby Club when it disbanded, notably talented fullback Dick Hardy who became a driving force.

In its early years Vikings’ home ground was Figtree Oval but in 1970 the club entered into a licence agreement with council to take over an area of wasteland on the corner of Swan and Corrimal Streets. Under the guidance of Terry George the club developed its own rugby field and club house, with stage one opening in 1977 and stage two in 1984.

The construction of the rugby field and associated building was carried out by voluntary labour supplied by club members, with great support from local firms such as the Steel Works which provided coal wash as fill, Cleary brothers who transported it and shaped the embankments, Donnelley Hire, whose Principal, Steve Donnelley, was Vikings First Grade Hooker at the time, provided any equipment we needed for building the Clubhouse. There were many other community contributors. Improvements have been carried out over the years such that Vikings now manages and maintains a multi-million dollar public asset for the people of Wollongong, which includes a first class rugby field with modern lighting, a training field, dressing rooms and showers, a large parking area and a building with a main club-room for functions, meeting rooms, a kitchen and canteen as well as a gymnasium and outdoor barbecue area.

Club historyVikings is the Illawarra’s most successful club, boasting 13 first grade premierships, 12 second grade premierships, eight third grade premierships, 13 club championships and 20 junior premierships.

We also have a proud history of representative honours including Dave Hanley (Australia under-16s), Andrew Barrett (Australian Schoolboys), Warwick Giddey (Australian Schoolboys), Joel Diggins (English Schoolboys), Peter Palmer (Australia A) and John Coolican and Mark McInnes (Wallabies) as well as numerous Illawarra and NSW Country representatives.

The club’s success has been largely built on good coaching. Coaches over the years have included Terry George, Bill Eddy and Alan Arnott, Luke Oborn, and, more recently Club Coaches have included current C.R.U. Coach Shannon Fraser, Tim Fisher, Sean Barrett, Phil Green, Jay Tregonning, (current coach of the Australian Womens’ Rugby Team The Wallaroos), Andrew Barrett and from 2023 Michael Crane a Viking Life Member with over 400 games with Vikings to his credit.

Vikings also has an extensive Old Boys’ network, The Longhorns, to which there is a link in this web-site, that provides more detail. The Longhorns, which were formalised in 1991, make up an important support group for Vikings Rugby Club, numbering about 200 and providing a great vehicle for retired Vikings and rugby friends to maintain contact in later years


Club Sponsors

The club is proud to acknowledge the many businesses and individuals whose generous support ensures Vikings’ continuing success.
See below for links to our partners.

Play Rugby with Vikings

Seniors + Juniors + Golden Oldies