1984 Grand Slam Wallabies and 1977 Australian Schoolboys help raise $80,000 for schools rugby

The Australian Schools Rugby Foundation’s annual fundraiser was a resounding success. Two hundred sixty-six guests packed the ballroom of the Four Seasons Hotel in Sydney, raising over $80,000 for school rugby.

The Australian Schools Champions for 2024 announced.

All proceeds from this luncheon go directly towards supporting the ASRU’s work in hosting the 2024 Australian Schools Championships and funding representative tours for the Australian Schoolboys XVs and Australian Schoolgirls Sevens.

A joint statement between ASRU and Rugby Australia was read, which, among other initiatives, will ‘provide an aligned and formal national schools pathway for both boys and girls‘ (statement following).

The 2024 Australian Schools Rugby Championship will be held at Sunshine Coast Stadium in Queensland from 1 to 5 July.

Sunshine Coast Stadium, venue for the 2024 Australian Schools Rugby Championship 1-5 July

Twenty-six 1984 Grand Slam Wallabies members attended this very special Australian Schools Rugby Foundation fundraiser, celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Grand Slam winning Wallabies. 

Tracey Holmes, the event MC, also interviewed the coach and captain of the first-ever Australian Schoolgirls Sevens team: Lili Boyle, captain (Narrabeen Sports High School) and Ashley Mewburn, coach (Goulburn High School), as well as Heidi Dennis (John Paul College), the 2022 Sevens Merit team’s first schoolgirl selected for the senior Australian Sevens team through the new schools pathway.

Felix Turinui of Waverley College represented the 2023 Australian Schoolboys XV team, which defeated Tonga in a test match in September.

The King, Wally Lewis, a 1976 and 1977 Australian Schoolboys team member, delivered a passionate video message at the Australian Schools Rugby Foundation annual fundraiser on Friday.

Joe Schmidt, the Wallabies’ new head coach, was welcomed and spoke briefly. Schmidt said he was very familiar with the Australian Schoolboys as he was the coach of the New Zealand Schoolboys, which were defeated by the Australian Schoolboys in 1996, a team that Phil Waugh played in.

Members of the 1984 in attendance were: Andrew Slack, David Codey, Ross Reynolds, Chris Roche, Tim Lane, Tom Lawton, Cameron Lillicrap, Simon Poidevin. Phillip Cox, James Black, Topo Rodriguez , Steve Williams, Andrew McIntyre, Ian Williams, Roger Gould, Nigel Holt, Bill Calcraft, Nick Farr Jones, Michael Hawker, Steve Tynman, Bill Campbell, Peter Grigg, Mark McBain, Matt Burke, Ross Hanley and Alex Evans (Forward’s Coach). Apologies from Alan Jones, Steve Cutler, David Campsie, Michael Lynagh.

ASRU would like to thank all who attended or sent their apologies.

We would like to thank the 1984 Wallabies, who attended the luncheon at their own cost to support schools rugby, and the 1977 Australian Schoolboys, who raised $35,000 for the ASRU through personal cash pledges and Mike Maxwell’s generous auction donation.

We would also like to thank Peter Montgomery for his donation of the Jonah’s Boutique Hotel and Bonville Golf Course auction gifts; Simon Poidevin, Nick Farr Jones, and Michael Hawker, who donated themselves for a corporate or private function; the Four Seasons Hotel, which donated two nights; and Mike Maxwell, whose donation of two x 7-night stays at the amazing Coast House in Tasmania alone raised $13,000.

All proceeds from this luncheon go directly towards supporting the work of the ASRU hosting the 2024 Australian Schools’ National Championships and funding representative tours for the Australian Schoolboys and Australian Schoolgirls.

Australian Schools Rugby Union and Rugby Australia Statement

This year marks a significant milestone as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Australian Schools Rugby Union Championships, a testament to the enduring legacy of this prestigious event that was first held in Melbourne in 1975.

It is thus fitting, and with great pleasure that Australian Schools Rugby Union and Rugby Australia make the following announcement today. 

RA and ASRU will work hand in hand to develop, strengthen, foster, and promote schools’ rugby in Australia by supporting the Australian Schools Rugby Union Championships and other ASRU initiatives. 

The relationship will provide an aligned and formal national schools pathway for both boys and girls and support player development and selection to senior national teams. The ASRU programs will work within the national systems for talent management and delivery of national team programs at U16 and U18 levels.

The Australian Schoolboys are arguably the most recognised brand in Australian school’s sport, with a long and proud history that has included many superstars of our game. The introduction of an Australian Schoolgirls Sevens competition for U18 and U16 schoolgirls in 2022 and the inaugural Australian Schoolgirls team in 2023 builds on and expands this tradition.

The ASRU welcomes this new relationship with Rugby Australia — thanks to Phil Waugh in particular — and looks forward to working with RA to continue to develop and foster strong relationships that have been established in the past while attracting our country’s best young schoolboy and schoolgirl

Read by Kevin Culliver, OAM, President ASRU

All photos can be viewed and downloaded from the ASRU’s image platform: https://asru.photoshelter.com/index

Olympian Michelle Ford and David Mortimer

Joe Schmidt, Head Coach Wallabies
Andrew Slack and Tom Lawton
Ashley Mewburn, Heidi Dennis, Lili Boyle
Ashley Mewburn, Head Coach, Australian Schoolgirl Sevens
Marcia Ella-Duncan delivering the Welcome to Country


2024 ASRU Championships

The ASRU would like to formally invite State and Territory affiliates to participate in the 50th Australian Schools Rugby Championships. … Continued