Super Rugby


Townsville celebrate silver jubilee

As Round 5 of Queensland Premier Rugby kicks off in Brisbane, to the North of the state, the Townsville Rugby community are preparing to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Townsville and District Rugby Union. 

Established in 1968 the TDRU comprises of 2,000 registered players across the local junior and senior competitions, and this weekend the home of Townsville Rugby – Mike Carney Toyota Park – will play host to a festival of Rugby. 

One player who will be partaking in the festivities on offer will be local Townsville Brothers prop Andrew Parker. 

While the region has produced talented Queensland and Wallabies representatives such as Peter Grigg and Sam Scott-Young, Parker is one of only a handful of players who can lay claim to having won both a Premier Rugby and Townsville A Grade title. 

Parker spent three years at David Wilson Field with Easts between 2011 and 2013, and was fortunate to end his time with the club on a high, forming part of the Tigers’ victorious 2013 Premier Grade outfit.

“I consider the 2013 Grand Final as one of my best moments in Rugby,” Parker said. 

“We had a really strong squad with a lot of guys who now playing Super Rugby and I have really fond memories of that time, the Grand Final day was probably the most nervous I’ve been before a game and the celebrations that followed were great.” 

Something that was particularly special for Parker in 2013 was the opportunity to play alongside his younger brother Michael. 

“When I was looking at coming to Easts a few of the guys at Townsville Brothers put me in contact with Pat Richards (then head coach and a Townsville Brothers old boy) and he said come down. 

“At the time Michael was playing Queensland Schoolboys and they were pretty interested in him as well. Playing with him throughout the grades at Easts in 2013 was particularly special.” 

First playing for the Tigers in 2011, Parker relished the amount of competition he had at the club. 

“I loved the competition for spots at training it was a different level of Rugby. The depth in the club meant that you had to work hard at training if you wanted to play at the top level, it motivated you to push hard and not be complacent. 

“It was also a massive benefit to have guys coming back from the Queensland Reds from week-to-week. I learnt a lot from guys like Ed Quirk.” 

Following the 2013 season, as the pair both looked to move forward in their lives outside of Rugby, the Parker brothers made the move back to their hometown and Townsville Brothers, where they had played junior and senior Rugby before their move to Brisbane. 

As Andrew joined the Police Force and Michael continued his studies, the duo helped Townsville Brothers reach the 2014 TDRU Grand Final, where they secured their second title in as many years. 

“The 2014 season with Brothers was really good, I was playing with a lot of guys I had played juniors with and we had a really great side,” Parker said. 

“The team had made the Grand Final the year before and had lost, but we had really good coaches and Michael and I were able to contribute with what we had learnt in Brisbane. Overall it was a great year with Brothers, Townsville Brolgas, North Queensland and the Heelers.” 

2014 also saw both Andrew and Michael excel at a representative level, coming through the Country pathway to represent the Queensland Country Heelers before their greatest Rugby accolade came late in the season. 

On the recommendation of then Heelers head coach Garrick Morgan, who was also an assistant coach under Steve Meehan for Bond University Queensland Country, both brothers were called into the National Rugby Championship squad. 

The duo made their NRC debuts for Country in the first Andy Purcell Cup clash against Brisbane City at Ballymore, before playing in front of their home crowd in Country’s 53-29 win over the Sydney Stars at Mike Carney Toyota Park. 

“It was a massive honour for us both. We got to experience top level coaching and what it takes to play at the professional level,” said Parker. 

“My favourite game was our win over the Stars in Townsville. It was really good to have that level of game in North Queensland and it would be great to see more representative games in the region, especially with local boys involved.” 

As the weekend’s 50th anniversary celebrations fast approach, there is a lot of hype around Townsville as the community prepare to celebrate their rich history and contribution to Rugby in Queensland. 

‘There is a lot of hype around the weekend. I’ve been lucky enough to captain the Brolgas and there will be a lot of people who have helped build the competition who wil be around to celebrate the event,” Parker said. 

For more information on the TDRU 50th anniversary, visit

Join our Rugby Family today