Western Suburbs Rugby Union Club, known as ‘Wests’, was formed in the 1930s and captured its first premiership in 1932. The Club folded during World War II, but reformed in 1950 largely through the efforts of inaugural secretary Joe Lord and 1932 premiership player John Poor.
In 2000 the club changed its name to Wests Subiaco, the original Western Suburbs had changed drastically over the years, and was more in keeping with the home ground location.
In 2013 the Club re-located to new grounds and clubrooms at Bennett Park in Doubleview. The new club name ‘Wests Scarborough Rugby Union Club Inc’ was chosen to best reflect the new location as the Club moved into an exciting new phase.
- Excellent location, near Scarborough Beach redevelopment precinct
- More than 50% of our current playing members live within the boundaries of the City of Stirling
- The only rugby club in the area reaching from Swanbourne in the south to Joondalup in the north
- Local secondary schools in the area that play rugby include Hale School, Newman College & Churchlands High
- The Club have two full sized grounds and exclusive winter use of Bennett Park on weekend match days.
- The grounds are fully floodlit and the facilities include clubrooms and ample parking
From 1974 to 1977 four consecutive premiership titles were recorded. Club championship flags were attained in 1968, 1969, 1971, and then from 1973 to 1976. It was also during these years that two members of the club were selected to play for Australia. Don Hardwick toured Ceylon with the Australian Colts in 1953, and Bob Thompson was a Wallaby tourist to New Zealand and France in 1972. Over the years approximately eighty players have worn the Black and Gold of the W.A. State Senior sides, and many others in their age group levels.
During these early years Wests had started to invest in schoolboys and colts, with dedicated and enthusiastic members involved in the discovery of talent and coaching. At the same time there had been an upsurge in immigrants; this saw an influx of new members and new ideas that were then harnessed. Many of these schoolboys, colts and immigrants are still club members and are an integral part of the club’s culture.
The new Millennium brought about a change in fortunes with a gradual improvement over the next few years. 2002 saw five Wests’ teams in the finals with the 1st grade taking out the Minor premiership. 2003 was more successful with 1st grade going one step further and winning both the major and minor flags, and all other teams reaching finals. In 2004 the first grade (now renamed Premier grade by WA Rugby) yet again captured both flags with reserve grade accounting for their own major premiership flag.
Wests went on to dominate the WA Rugby ‘Premier’ Grade competition winning four years in a row – 2003, 2004, 2005 & 2006.
Since moving to Bennett Park in 2013, the Scarborough Club has played finals rugby for the past 4 seasons, losing the grand final in 2015 and winning the minor Premiership and Premiership in 2016.
1ST GRADE PREMIERSHIPS
1971, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977
2003, 2004, 2005, 2006
From the early 1950’s Wests played at Rosalie Park. In 2013 the Club re-located to Bennett Park which has two full sized pitches – thus having the availability to play all senior games at the same ground on the same day. The grounds are on the Doubleview/Scarborough border in the City of Stirling.
During the period to 1972 (this information coming from recollections) clubrooms were either peoples’ houses, pubs on the way home from games, the Shenton Park beer garden was popular until being offered an upstairs room in that establishment that had showers and a billiard table. Later a room was hired at the Friendly Society Building in Townshend Road, where beer and pies were sold and the opposition invited back to the usual after match celebrations. Prior to 1972 there had been talk of owning clubrooms and in that year Wests moved into the old R.S.L. Hall in Onslow Road (now demolished) and became, as far as is known, the first club in the metropolitan competition to own its clubrooms.
In 1978 the club moved to the Subiaco Bowling Club premises and together with the bowling club, formed what was known as the Subiaco Sporting Club. However both clubs retained their own identity and names.
In 1992 new Clubrooms were built at Rosalie Park which was the initiative of the rugby Club. These were shared facilities between sporting clubs under the banner ‘Rosalie Sporting Association’ (RSA). The basis of the agreement to establish the RSA was to ensure security of tenure for the respective users. The model of the RSA as a shared facility was based on the fact that the rugby Club played their fixtures on the Saturday. Without consultation with the other users of the grounds this agreement changed in 2012 resulting in Wests having no choice but to look for alternative grounds and clubrooms.
In 2013, Wests moved into existing clubroom facilities at Bennett Park, Doubleview. Current users include cricket in the summer and touch rugby who play in summer and mixed touch one night per week in winter. Rugby will be the sole winter weekend user of the clubrooms and grounds.
WESTERN FORCE ARRIVAL
2006 also ushered in a new era of Rugby in WA, with the establishment of the Western Force. Wests have developed close links with the Western Force, and hope to be able to provide a pathway for future Force players for years to come. The Club currently has 3 Western Force players who play for Wests in the local competition including Wallaby Pek Cowan, Semisi Masirewa and local product Kane Koteka.
SENIOR MEN’S TEAMS
Wests presently have 5 senior teams in the RugbyWA Senior competitions – Premier (1st), 2nd, 3rd, 4th and U20’s (Colts) teams.
1971-72: Bob Thompson – Australia v South Africa, Wallaby tours to France & New Zealand
2002: Joji Soqoiwasa – Fiji Tour to Ireland, Wales and Scotland.
2016/17: Albert Nikoro – Manu Samoa
WESTS JUNIOR’s (U6 to U18’s)
Wests was one of first junior clubs formed in Western Australia. The Club has been a force within the junior competition for over 40 years. Wests Junior Rugby has players from the age of five to 17. Wests’ juniors serve the community of Doubleview/Scarborough and immediate areas. Wests have produced many state players at this level over the years. Today we continue to develop state players and participants in Australian schoolboy teams.
In 2013, senior premier grade player Brad Lacey was selected for the Australian U20s World Cup side which played in France. Brad was selected again in 2014 and toured New Zealand. In 2015 Wests Riley Winter was selected in the Australian U20s World Cup side that played in Italy.
In the days when many of the senior clubs didn’t have their own juniors these other clubs used to send their sons to Wests for their initial coaching and on reaching colts age, would then be summoned back to their own clubs. Over the years the dedication of the coaches, and most of the time these coaches filled many roles at the club and still do – President, Secretary, Registrar, Committee. These people have been the “back bone” of the Junior Club.
AUSTRALIAN JUNIOR REPRESENTATIVES
1987: Alex Radonjic – Australian U16’s
1992: Brad Fraser – Australian U16’s
2010: Gary Neugebauer – Australian Schoolboys
2013 & 2014: Brad Lacey – Australian U20’s
2015: Riley Winter – Australian U20’s
2017: Sama Malolo – Australian U20’s
The year of 1997 saw the formation of a Western Suburbs Women’s team who participated in the Western Australian Women’s competition with some players making their respective State team. However with losing a couple of key people involved with Women’s Rugby, the team folded in 2008.
It is hoped when the club builds new clubrooms and changeroom facilities we will again be able to include a women’s team.
Throughout the years the contribution of the mothers, wives, partners, girlfriends and friends of these women that have been involved on committees, organising events and functions, providing food, helped with canteen duties and generally supported the teams in many roles are to be acknowledged for their well being to the club. Even today the customary Ladies Day each year is a huge success and only seems to get bigger.