Several generations have now been involved either as players or supporters of the Rangers Rugby Union Club at Woodend.

Established in 1968, the club is celebrating 50 years of green and white and rugby union.

A group of IGS old boys gathered around the Hardie family kitchen table and decided to form an Ipswich Rugby Union team. There were 10-12 people the day it started and 50 years on there are now upwards of 250 players at Rangers Rugby Union Club.

School teacher Mark Osborne (pictured above left) and his son, university student John Osborne (pictured above right), first stepped onto the Rangers field in 2005 when John played in U6. 

“I grew up with rugby,” Mark Osborne said.

“We just live up the road and one of the dad’s from school suggested I bring John down to the club.”

John Osborne plays in the seniors now so he too has grown up with rugby.

“This club has a good culture of having fun and having a bit of competition as well. There is a good atmosphere and you are made to feel like you are needed in the team, everyone has a place,” John Osborne said.

Mark manages John’s team and is also co-coordinator for the junior teams. He used to play in the Golden Oldies, now called the Ranger Relics. John also coaches the tiny rangers (3 – 5 year olds).

Mark Osborne said it’s the people associated with the club that have made it such a success.

“The people all have a passion for rugby and I think that is what binds us together,” he said.

The club celebrated their anniversary in a gala weekend last weekend. A lot of past players and supporters attended and the heritage and tradition were on display.

“The players are very proud of being part of that tradition. It really hit home for everyone on the weekend. At the end, past and present members all came together to sing the club song.”

As the club song goes – Who are we? We’re the mighty Rangers.

Rugby Union has had a chequered past in Ipswich. One of the first ‘football’ games was played between the Ipswich Rangers and the Brisbane Football Club at Queen’s Park on Saturday 8 July 1876 in front of a large crowd of spectators. It did not resemble any of the current football codes, being a mixture of all three:

The game is called ‘football’ but, having the ‘ball’ part, almost any other name would do as well for it, so rough, scrambling, miscellaneous, and unscrupulous in the style of ‘tooling’ the leather, by all means and any means, towards and over the goal. (Queenslander, 8 July 1876.)

Credit: Glorious Green and White – 50 years of the Ipswich Rangers by Helen Brackin

Famous Rangers

Tim Horan (Wallaby)

Izzy Nasiganiyavi (played for Fiji)

Nemani Nadolo (formerly Ratu Nasiganiyavi – played for Fiji)

Scott Notley (Australian touch captain

Ian Robson (Rugby league representative)

Dave Roderick (Rugby league representative

Joe Stanley (All Black)

Brendan Underwood (Queensland Reds)

Shambeckler Vui (Australian U20 and Western Force/NSW Waratahs

Patrick Grehan (Australian touch representative

Anthony Milford (Brisbane Broncos)

‘Rangers Top 50 of All Time’ announced at the anniversary function.

1. Reg Hardie
2. Dwyer family
3. Michael McLean
4. Steve Castles
5. Geoff Brown
6. Mark Osborne
7. Grant Morrison
8. Geoff Pegg
9. Barry Hoffensetz
10. Nick Pender
11. The Wadley family (Les, Rob, Bill and Keith
12. Ted Ellis

13. Garry Hill
14. Graham Hight
15. Dan Trevorrow
16. Roger Jones
17. Alex McLean
18. Dom Chalk
19. Dave Handyside
20. Phil Thompson
21. Sel Foote
22. Alan Kirkwood
23. Jim Lee
24. David Roche
25. Lige Donald

26. Craig Eason
27. Graham (Grizz Raddunz)
28. Jim Baxter
29. Jim Ward
30. Stewart Banks
31. Madonna Trevorrow
32. Hiwa Gregory
33. Kim Rowcliffe
34. Damian Roache
35. Tom Leadbetter
36. Mak Fatialofa
37. Jason Dutton

38. Brady Castles
39. Gary Aitken
40. Jeff Nicholson
41. Rohan McPhail
42. Joseph Creedy
43. Simon Turner
44. Cameron Stokes
45. Justin Gerhke
46. Paula Watkins
47. John Osborne
48. Bruce Peel
49. Gordon Murphy
50. Jeffrey McLean