City vs Country Trophies ready to shine

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

The annual City vs Country clash is the most enduring & traditional representative fixture on the NSW Juniors rugby calendar. For years it has been the peak focal point of the Rep pathways for our junior club rugby players within NSW, especially as it was the final selection game for NSWJRU State teams in the past (before GEN BLUE combined club and school Rep pathways).

But more importantly the fixtures were the chance for players to proudly wear the ‘Burnt Orange’ jersey of NSW Country or the ‘Royal Blue & Gold’ jersey of Sydney Juniors. Pride and passion have been the staple diet of these games for many decades. Over the years we have seen the ‘carnival’ grow to include more teams, with the advent of the Girls games only a relatively more recent addition.

The 2021 Positive Rugby Foundation NSWJRU City vs Country Carnival will be held on Sunday 1st August at Ann Ashwood Park, Bathurst NSW – hosted by Bathurst Bulldogs Rugby Club and Bathurst Regional Council. This continues the current trend of NSW Juniors taking this fixture to regional NSW each year.

The various games have always been contested for the prized ‘Silverware’ and NSW Juniors has always worked closely with Sydney Junior Rugby Union (SJRU)and NSW Country Junior Rugby Union (CJRU)* to dedicate these trophies to key figures within NSW Rugby Union. Often these are players or officials that have followed such pathways onto higher honours and embody the values and ethos of what Junior rugby in NSW stands for.

*Note - from 2020 NSW Country Juniors has merged with the seniors and now is simply NSW Country Rugby Union.

As you can imagine when dealing with volunteer teams, committees and officials over so many years – it comes as no surprise that trophies & shields often get misplaced and the level of record keeping is not always as diligent as we’d like. This has meant that we currently do not have in our possession many of the trophies nor all the historical results from these games over the years.

So in 2021 NSW Juniors President Ben Gregory began an archive project to gather and store on our website all the historical results from the City vs Country fixtures that we could find. This involved a few weeks trawling through old Annual reports to find and collate what information had been recorded by the various committees for each of those years. Unfortunately the archive of these reports only went back until 1980. Our website developer Bert Stenning then created a specific page on our website to store & display these results. We also engaged Graham Kelly at Awards@Ryde to replace all the lost trophies and shields with the historical results engraved upon them. The end result is a treasure trove of NSW Junior rugby history which we can proudly brandish for all to see.

So let us introduce you to the various age groups, trophies and extra information that makes these fixtures so special.    

TIM GAVIN SHIELD – Under 14 Boys

Bryant Timothy Gavin played rugby for both NSW and Australia. A country born (Cumnock) player Tim played 83 times for New South Wales between 1988 and 1996 and captained them 30 times. He also played Number8 for the Wallabies in 47 Test matches in between 1988 and 1996. Tim has been President of the New South Wales Rugby Union and was inducted into the Australian Rugby Hall of Fame in 2018.


An interesting fact on this fixture was that before 2013 theU14 SJRU team was not a ‘selected’ side of individual players but rather the highest placed Sydney Metropolitan team from that years State Championships.

Tim Gavin Shield

Current holders - SJRU 48 bt CJRU 7

SJRU Titles (most recent) - 13 (2019)

CJRU Titles (most recent) - 5 (2011)

*on record since 1980 


The under 14 girls were due to have their first ever City vs Country game in 2020 but unfortunately COVID-19 meant that we have had to wait another year for the first edition of this annual clash.

The Plate is named after our sponsors – the NSW Positive Rugby Foundation which is the official charity arm of NSW Rugby Union, headed up by Peter Murphy

Sponsors Plate

Current holders - n/a

SJRU Titles (most recent) - n/a

CJRU Titles (most recent) - n/a

Since 2021 


Steve Tuynman played rugby for both NSW and Australia. A Sydney born (Hunters Hill) player whom played in 34 tests for the Wallabies between 1983 and 1990.

In May, 1982 he made his senior representative debut, for New South Wales against Waikato and then just two months later, at barely 19 years of age, he was named in the Wallaby squad to tour New Zealand. Tuynman will be remembered as a schoolboy prodigy who rose to the highest echelons of the game and more than fulfilled his enormous potential.



Steve Tuynman Cup

Current holders - SJRU 27 bt CJRU 17

SJRU Titles (most recent) - 17 (2019)

CJRU Titles (most recent) - 3 (2002)

*on record since 1980 


Mahalia Murphy plays rugby for both NSW and Australia, representing at both XV’s and 7’s games. A Sydney born (Blacktown) player, Mahalia has been a part the Waratah’s Women side to win three Super W Rugby titles as well as representing Australia at World Cups.  


Mahalia Murphy Shield

Current holders - SJRU 15 bt CJRU 5

SJRU Titles (most recent) - 1 (2019)

CJRU Titles (most recent) - n/a

Since 2019 

ELLA CUP –Under 16 Boys

The Ella Brothers (Mark, Gary & Glen) played rugby for both NSW and Australia. All were Sydney based (La Perouse) players that came through the Randwick club. They were extremely gifted players that were part of the Australian Schools side of 1977-78 that has gone down in legend. Mark Ella played at flyhalf/five-eighth and was capped by the Wallabies 25 times, captaining Australia on 10 occasions. Gary Ella represented Australia six times between 1982 and 1988. Glen represented Australia four times between 1982 and 1985.





Ella Cup

Current holders - CJRU 40 bt SJRU 29

SJRU Titles (most recent) - 15 (2018)

CJRU Titles (most recent) - 8 (2019)

Draws (most recent) - 2 (2014)

*on record since 1980


Grace J Hamilton plays rugby for the NSW Waratah Women and Australian Buildcorp Wallaroos. A Country born (Orange) player Grace has Captained both the NSW and Australian teams, winning a record four Super W titles with NSW and representing Australia at the 2017 World Cup. Grace’s family also has strong links to NSW Country Rugby and NSW Juniors with her father John being a past President of NSW Country Junior Rugby Union and Vice President of NSW Juniors.

Grace is currently the 2021 Patron of NSW Junior Rugby Union.


Grace Hamilton Shield

Current holders - SJRU 46 bt CJRU 5

SJRU Titles (most recent) - 1 (2019)

CJRU Titles (most recent) - 2 (2018)

Since 2017 

MICHAEL BRIAL CUP – Under 17/Under 18 Boys

Michael Cameron Brial played rugby for both the NSW Waratah’s Australian Wallabies. A Country born (Narrabri) player Michael played in the backrow for the Waratahs 66 times between 1992-1995, and for the Wallabies on 13 occasions between 1993-1997. Michael was a confrontational backrower who rarely took a backward step during his time with Eastern Suburbs, New South Wales and Australia.


Michael Brial Cup

Current holders - SJRU 24 bt CJRU 18

SJRU Titles (most recent) - 13 (2019)

CJRU Titles (most recent) - 13 (2017)

*on record since 1980

With the 2020 fixtures being lost to COVID-19 we are excited to see this ‘Clash of the Titans’ for junior club rugby in NSW resume. Join us at Ann Ashwood Park, Bathurst NSW on Sunday 1st August - or catch the action Live streamed on NSW Rugby TV (powered by Cluch)

NSWJRU - Girls City vs Country Trophies
NSWJRU - Boys City vs Country Trophies