The Hawkesbury Agricultural College Rugby Union Football Club was founded in 1891. This was the same year that the College itself commenced operation. In that first year there was one side in the club, the 1st XV, which won three games and drew their fourth. Eight years later in 1899, the club introduced Honour Caps for the best forward and best back, a tradition which continues today. In 1907, the first match between the Old Boys and current students was played, another tradition which continues today, and the following year saw the college employ a professional coach for the club.
At the start of 1911, HACRC joined the Sydney Suburban Competition. 1912 saw the college grandstand built, which is rumoured to be the second oldest surviving grandstand in Australia (Only the stand on the Richmond Oval is older). 1929 saw HACRC commence its long list of achievements by winning the First “Country Week” title. Between 1950 and 1960, HACRC were frequently invited by the Australian Rugby Union, New South Wales Rugby Union and the Country Rugby Union, to play as curtain raisers to various international matches played in New South Wales. Also, in 1953, the 1st XV played 18 matches, winning 17 and losing one. 1962 saw the introduction of the Sydney second division competition. Hawkesbury were one of the founding clubs in this competition.
In 1970, the College introduced the semester system. Students received a four week holiday break in mid-winter and in the middle of rugby season. In 1989, and the University of Western Sydney took over the operations of Hawkesbury Agricultural College. Students were now able to enrol in a greater number of courses, and to reflect this change the club changed its name from HACRC to the University of Western Sydney Hawkesbury Rugby Union Club.
The club still plays in the traditional “Blood and Mustard” stripes. In recent times the Club has experienced varying levels of success due largely uncontrollable forces shaping the developing culture of the UWS Hawkesbury Campus. The Club was very strong through the 1990’s and participated in the Kentwell Cup (Subbies First Division). However, the changing nature of the campus demographic especially since 2000 has seen a drop in the number of rugby players attending the university.
The tough times of the early 21st century were certainly trying years as the club re-established itself in the NSWSRU 4th division. Yet now sees a new era beginning for the Club. Today large numbers of students, non students, or ex students (from many Universities) fill the ranks of the HAC teams. Responding to the signs of the times the club has a new 5 year strategic plan and is actively working to ensure that the traditions of the HAC are never lost. The key strategic goals to be focussed on in the next 5 years are:
- Player Participation and Club Performance
- Club Profile and Positioning
- Finance & Sponsorship
- Club Governance and Organisational Structure
- UWS / HAC: The Headquarters of Rugby
- Maintaining of Tradition & Heritage.
What else can we say but….. Wazzie, Wazzie, Yah!!
UWS/HAC RUFC CLUB HONOUR ROLL
Australian Rugby Union Representatives
Since 1891 Thirteen past Students of the HAC & UWS Hawkesbury have been selected to represent Australia.
Robert Graves, Andrew “Boy”Charlton, John Klem, Reg Smith, Phil Clements, Warwick Watkins, Lars Hedberg,
Michael Mathers, Jim Phipps, Graham Bailey, Jim Miller, Rod Moore, Scott Staniforth.
Atton G (1994), Botha D (1911), Burke M (1994), Durham W (1912), Ford A (1993), Garbett A (1911), Hadley B (1913), Lee C (1913), Martin T (1993), McGillervray P (1913), McLaren ? (1914), Morrow H (1912), O’Keefe P (1913), Payne R (1913), Potts G (1913), Rigby B (1913), Roche P (2000), Staniforth M (1994), Suhuurman J (1912), Treweeke R (1912), Ward S (2001), Williamson W (1911), Allanson ? (1914), Cole J (1993), Cooke L (1912).
NSWSRU 1st Division
1962: Premiership winners & club championship
1966: Major & Minor premiers
1967: Major & Minor premiers
1968: Major & Minor premiers
1971: Major premiers
1973: Minor semi final
1980: Major and Minor premiers
1987: Premiers Plate competition
1988: Premiers Plate competition 1
1994: Club champions & minor premiers / grand finalists
NSWSRU 4th Division
2003: Premiership winners
2005: Semi-finalists 2006: Semi-finalists
2007: Grand Finalists
NSWRU 3rd Division
Australian University Games
1993: Gold medal (Brisbane)
1994: Bronze medal (Wollongong)
1995: Gold medal (Darwin)
1996: Silver medal (Canberra)
1997: Gold medal (Melbourne)
1998: Gold medal (Melbourne)
1999: Bronze medal (Perth)
Hong Kong Tens
1999: Fourth place
2001: Runners up in plate final