The origins of the Brisbane Junior Rugby Union (BJRU) can be traced back to those of the Queensland Junior Rugby Union (QJRU) in 1960. Prior to the formation of the QJRU some clubs had teams and they played on an ad hoc basis. In the late 1950s it was identified that there was a need for Rugby Union outside the school system and so they set about forming the QJRU and club junior rugby became formalised.
BRISBANE COMPETITION COMMITTEE
Club rugby slowly increased its numbers over the years, including State Championships and interstate games. It was deemed that there needed to be a Sub-Committee to run junior rugby in Brisbane and the Brisbane Competition Committee was formed. The committee was responsible for running the competition and conducting meetings of the Junior Club Presidents at least twice yearly.
In the late 1980s the competition took the next step and formulated a set of Competition Rules by which the competition was to be run. At about the same time Rob Melloy who was the Competition Registrar wrote a program for clubs to use that allowed them to keep player details, generate team lists, keep statistics etc. This was linked to another program that generated competition games, Points tables etc; a huge step forward.
During the second half of the 1990s it was identified by members of the Competition Committee and the Junior Club Presidents that at times the interests of the competition and the QJRU were not the same, and that the Country Members of the QJRU, saw the QJRU as nothing more than an extension of the Brisbane Clubs.
In 1999 the Junior presidents set on the path to become the BJRU. Some would say that this is an easy process but much had to be done. The QJRU had to change its constitution (Rules of Incorporation) to facilitate the BJRU and Rules of Incorporation had to be drawn up for the BJRU.
More importantly the QJRU tasked the Competition Committee with proving it could conduct its own affairs. This meant increasing the committee to include extra members including a Treasurer.
The Competition Rules were also re-written at this time to include the changes and include everything that governed the running of the competition including all the ‘Gentlemen’s Agreements” etc.
2002 and 2003 saw the Competition responsible for all its actions and finally the QJRU was satisfied and changed its Rules of Incorporation at the November 2003 AGM to allow the BJRU to be formed.
There were many people who helped in the formation of the BJRU, but three persons who helped drive it to its conclusion were, Des Drice, Rob Melloy and Karl Shrubsole.
On the 21 February 2004 the BCC conducted its last meeting and the First General Meeting of the Brisbane Junior Rugby Union Inc was conducted and its first Committee was elected:
President - Ron Warren
Vice President - Craig Eason
Treasurer – Michael Glover
North Region Representative - Shane Williams
South Region Representative - Greg Cree
West Region Representative - Andrew Gillies
Appointed were Competition Registrar/Secretary – Elliot Hutchinson and Queensland Rugby Referees Association (Brisbane Representative) – Brian O’Donnell.
Rob Melloy was elected as the first patron and he along with Des Drice were appointed as Life Members.
There were 19 clubs and 5 satellited clubs:
Albany Creek Ipswich Souths
Ashgrove Gps Kenmore Sunnybank
Brothers Lions Taylor Bridge
Browns Plains Logan City Wests
Caboolture Norths Wynnum
Easts Pine Rivers
Everton Park Redlands
Satellited by another club (in Brackets) and not eligible to vote:
Beenleigh (Logan City)
Easts Riverside (Easts)
Southern Bay (Redlands)
(Many of the BJRU achievements can also be traced back to its origins in the QJRU and are also included)
The BJRU has followed the pathway since its inception by the ARU, even though it has not always agreed with changes that have been made along the way. By doing this it has been able to provide consistent data to improve the game. Competition Rules & Field checks. Over the years the BJRU instituted a number of Competition Rules to ensure the playing environment was consistent throughout the competition. Part of this included Game Day Evaluation & Field Inspection Form which are primarily aimed at assisting a club in running its club on game day. It is noteworthy that a number of other competitions use the BJRU Competition Rules as the basis of their rules and regularly update.
Brisbane Juniors commenced a voucher system of paying Referees in 1999. The aim was to keep referees in rugby union, attract young referees and make referees responsible for ensuring allocation to the junior competition. This has been very successful.
In 2000 Brisbane was the first competition to include a separate Walla age group of Under 6s to ensure the two year age window was maintained.
U12 SIMON ABUBAKAR SKILLS DEVELOPMENT CARNIVAL
This carnival was instituted in 2005 as a pathway for teams into Representative rugby and besides developing players, to also develop Coaches, Managers, Sports Trainers and Referees. The added bonus is it also allows a club to Host it and develop their ability to run an event and thus add persons with varying administration abilities to the Brisbane talent pool.
In 2006 the Carnival was named in memory of Simon Abubakar, the West Region Committee Member from Kenmore who was one of the prime movers in getting the carnival up and running.
It behoves everyone involved in the game to ensure that the Laws of the Game and Competition Rules are adhered to, thus providing a level playing field for all children and adults alike. Gaining an unfair advantage, through bending of the Rules, or Laws, ignorance. or just outright cheating are not promoting the community values that rugby espouses to.
Junior rugby union is about developing players and above all enjoyment of the game Always ask when changing anything to do with the competition how will this effect, the game, laws, rules and above all the Players.