Rugby club spotlight: Southerners Rugby
Southerners Rugby (Southerners Sports Club)
As part of our series of spotlights on the many social rugby clubs in Asia, we take a look at one of the most popular sides in Thailand’s capital, the Southerners. who celebrate 25 years as a rugby club in 2019.
Club Name: Southerners Rugby
Club Motto: N/A
Year Founded: 1994 (25th Anniversary in 2019)
Honours: (titles won, championships etc):
- May 2018 – Champions, Chris Kays Memorial Rugby Tournament – Pattaya 10s
- April 2017 – Plate and Shield, Chris Kays Memorial Rugby Tournament – Pattaya 10s
- October 2015 – Champions, Cup and Plate, Asia Rugby League 9’s – Southerners and Southerners Stars (Phuket)
- October 2015 – Champions, Thai National Rugby League 9’s (Bangkok)
- May 2015 – Champions, Chris Kays Memorial Rugby Tournament – Pattaya 10s
- January 2015 – Champions, Laos 10s
- November 2014 – Champions, Angkor 10s, Dis is Kamboj
- June 2011 – Champions, Byron Kelleher Charity 7’s, Bangkok
- October 2009 – Runners up, Angkor 10s, Cambodia
- July 2009 – Semi-finalists, Thailand Rugby Union competition
- January 2009 – Semi-finalists, Bangkok RBSC 7’s
- January 2009 – Semi-finalists (undefeated), Laos international 10’s tournament
- November 2008 – Semi-finalists, Thailand Rugby Union competition
- April 2008 – 2nd, Pattaya 10s tournament
- February 2007 – 2nd, Bangkok International 10s
- May 2018 – Women’s Plate Champions, Phuket 10s
- September 2018 – Women’s Plate Champions (2nd Place), Saigon 10s
- September 2017 – Women’s Plate Champions (3rd Place), Saigon 10s
- February 2018 – Women’s Plate Champions, Bangkok 10s
Tell us a little about how the club formed:
In October 1994, New Zealand Rugby side Taradale RFC were looking to tour Thailand and play in a four-way rugby sevens tournament alongside teams from Thailand, Guam and Taiwan. A group of Australians and New Zealanders, on seeing they could field a sevens side, agreed to help organise the tournament, entering a Thailand team they decided to call “The Southerners”.
Former New Zealand All Black Zinzan Brooke, who was in Bangkok doing a TV commercial for Thai Airways, was co-opted by the fledgling Southerners team to compete in the inaugural game. The competition proved a success with Taradale edging out the Southerners to win the tournament.
The Southerners were later officially established on 3rd November 1994 when the Club’s registration was accepted by the Thai Rugby Union and was approved to enter the British Council Cup Competition (Division 1).
In September 2005, the Ambassadors to Thailand of Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and the United Kingdom sponsored the ‘Ambassadors Cup’, a three-match rugby series between the Southerners Sports Club and the British Club.
Describe what formats of rugby your clubs support (Mens, Womens, Touch, Youth, 15s, 7s etc):
We play men’s & women’s contact at 7s, 10s & 15s. We also play Rugby League and the broader Southerners Sports Club has an active Touch section which has men’s, women’s, and mixed teams. We also have a men’s Vets team (over 35s).
Do you host any tournaments or what leagues do your teams participate in?
We host a Women’s Rugby Tournament aimed at developing the game in Thailand and the surrounding countries. It will be in its third year in 2019.
Finally, tell us why you love your club and why/how players can get involved?
The Southerners are known in Bangkok expat circles as being an inclusive, relaxed and extremely social club.
In addition to regular weekend gatherings and local and international sports tours, the Southerners hold organised annual events including the Southerners Ball, Khao San Road Tour and Southerners Race Day.