Mika receiving Don Smith

About our Club

Burnside made its appearance in the South Australian Rugby Union competition in 1946 and ever since, we've been a force to be reckoned with.

The Double Blues have won three First Division premierships - the first back in 1963, second in 1990, and the third and most recent in 1999. Burnside has featured in plenty of grand finals and has taken out plenty more premierships (both minor and major) in all divisions over the years.

Currently we have people active in the club who started their days on the rugby field with Burnside as long ago as the early 1950s.

As a club we've plenty to be proud of;

We've had 5 State captains; State representatives at all levels every year we have been a club; our players have been chosen in Southern States teams; the Australian Schoolboys team; the Australian Services First Fifteen; Queensland; the Australian sevens team; the Australian Women's team; for Wallaby trials; a Burnside junior has gone on to coach the Australian Sevens team.

We've had the SARU Most Outstanding Player of the Year seven times and we've won the State Championship Club Trophy for the Championship Club six times.

We've also been successful in managing club resources. For the past twenty odd years we've occupied clubrooms that few amateur sporting clubs can boast. But it wasn't always like that - far from it!

Our first "clubrooms" comprised a small green corrugated iron shed located near where our southern floodlight now stands. It wasn't too bad - we had a couple of cold water showers, and there was some concrete on the floor, but the walls finished inches from the ground and sometimes it got pretty cold...

From there we moved 30 paces to a single room at the southern end of the pavilion which we used as change rooms, showers, and clubrooms for several years.

Mika receiving Don Smith

The Side-burn 70's
(8 premierships across all divisions & age groups)

Early in the 1970s, our clubrooms moved to what we thought could not be improved on - one very large room which we separated by a movable wall. That room (now the weights room downstairs) was bar, kitchen, change room, shower room and committee room -more often than not all at the same time!

And did we pack them in! Until all the players from both teams had finished showering, upwards of 100 people (sometimes even more) would cram in to drink with our visitors. After the showers were finished, we'd move the wall and everyone would let their breath out, which is until the barbecue was moved inside and out of the rain so the helpers could stay dry while cooking!

In 1979, after a lot of hard work and fundraising organised by the club executive and some political pressure we scored the last State Unemployment Relief Scheme grant to be approved in 1979 three days before an election which saw the Government lose office. The incoming Government honoured the commitment and building started soon after, thanks to a guarantee of a State Bank loan by the Burnside Council.

Today, our clubrooms stand as testimony to the hard work and commitment put in by those members.

The 1970s saw Burnside enter two new eras. The first was the formation of the highly successful Waratahs junior club who took over our youngsters and went on to develop a club producing players who have been the mainstay of State rugby for the past dozen years.

The second was the Kiwi invasion. And, love 'em or hate 'em, everyone applauds their talents! They brought a new depth to the club and showed us things that can only be learnt when you start rugby at the age of five.

Those first few Kiwis opened the floodgate and today, around half our membership has links across the Tasman.

The Yuppie 80's
(25 premierships across all divisions & age groups)

Until 1982 we thought old footballers didn't die, they just slowed down and propped up the bar. That was until relatively new "old chums" formed the Crippled Crows. The Crippled Crows still exist, and now Burnside has their very own branch, the Blue Heelers, from where we started our Fourth Division team on a run of premiership successes.

This decade was clearly one where Burnside was a power house in SA Rugby as can be seen by the number of premierships in all divisions. Family influences has always been very important and during this period several families made significant contributions providing, juniors and senior players, coaches, committee members and social members.

Team photo on the stairs at Parkinson

The New Age 90's
(15 premierships across all divisions & age groups)

The 90's started and finished the decade with a First division premiership at both ends with two outstanding first division teams.

In 1997 a special relationship formed between the Lancashire, UK based Preston Rugby union football club, during this period there was a two way exchange between both clubs of talented players and special drinking buddies. During this period the SARU competed in the Rugby shield against other states with several Burnside players representing the state.

Presentation of Womens premiership cup

The New Millennium
(9 premierships across all divisions & age groups)

During this decade the Burnside ladies team became a major force in SA Rugby not only winning premierships but adding to the social life of the club. They continue to be a significant contributor to the fabric of Burnside. A close relationship was also developed with the Wanders club in Namibia, again with an exchange of both junior and senior players.

The Burnside club facilities are second to none. We are the only club in SA with three flood lit playing and training pitches, our gym and bar facilities are excellent, and our Thursday night steak BBQ is not only the best in SA, Australia but possibly the world! The Blues News is alive and well still telling tales of courage and valour. Although the design of our jumpers has changed on occasion, we have stayed with our double blue colours. Our club song has not changed in 4 decades (though this is sometimes to the dismay of listeners!!)

Reserve Grade celebrate GF win

2010 and Beyond
(4 premierships to date)

State Champion Club in 2010 and 2011.

Burnside lives on players, but they cannot operate without sponsors , volunteers and those who cheer the teams on and support the club at the bar and social functions. Especially the girls, those mothers, wives and sweethearts who line the sidelines and give as good as they get in the supporters' stakes. Over the years we've been home to a thousand or more players and supporters, home grown, from across Australia and the world. Many will have only a hazy memory of a bloody good game of rugby one Saturday afternoon while passing through Adelaide. We have a long and proud history.