Classics History

The foundations of the Classic Wallabies

The Classic Wallabies are a proud fraternity of ex Australian representative Rugby Union players that maintain and enhance the spirit of camaraderie enjoyed in their former playing days.

Up until 1990 these ex-players would informally meet on a Friday night before a Sydney or Brisbane test match to bond with past team mates and players of other eras. Tour reunions were generally organised by the team captain at a local rugby club or in a player’s backyard.

In 1990, Australia was invited to participate in the Bermuda Classic Over 35’s Tournament along with the New Zealand, France, Scotland, England, Wales, Ireland and the USA.

All international teams adopted the Classic name and so was born the Classic Wallabies.

Founding committee of Stuart Macdougall, Gary Pearse, Ken Wright, Ian Robertson and Peter Carson worked tirelessly to get the team on tour and establish the club. Ex Australian selector Barry Want threw his hat in to assist management while Billy Ross’s efforts north of the Tweed have been enormous.

Since 1990 the Classic Wallabies have participated in selected Bermuda Tournaments and expanded the fraternity’s activities within Australia.

Functions such as Golf Days, Horse Races and On Tour with Classic Wallabies Lunches raised money for selected charities and player hardship funds. In particular the ‘Classics’ have embraced and supported the unfortunate players who have suffered severe neck injuries playing the game.

After many years of self-funding, the Classic Wallabies were incorporated into the ARU management structure to assist in the management, communication and rugby development activities. Current president of Rugby Australia Tony Shaw had a stint as president of the Classics before the was passed to a new era of ex-players with Simon Poidevin, Jeff Miller and Stephen Hoiles stepping up to lead the programs extending to RA & RUPA Career Placement and grass roots rugby development.