Young Rugby Football Club (Young Yabbies) had its inaugural season in 1955 in the then South West competition. The clubs first President was the late ER Caldwell and the first Secretary the late ER Day. We are not sure why the club was named the “Yabbies”, other than suggesting the obvious. Cowra, Boorowa, Forbes, West Wyalong and Grenfell were the other foundation teams in the zone. Other clubs joined the competition through the years including Condobolin, Harden and Boorowa and Cootamundra.
The Zone was fortunate enough after only 2 seasons to have the touring New Zealand All Blacks play the South West Zone Rep team in June 1957 at Lawson Park, Grenfell. The President of the zone at the time Dr. Thomas J O’Neil was quoted saying “South West Zone is only in its second season of football and it is in an area with a long tradition of rugby league. This fixture could not come at a better time to boost the code and I thank NSW and NZ Rugby for making this possible”. Can you imagine the All Blacks playing against our Southern Inland Zone in the days of the professional era!
The South West competition served the rugby community that belonged to it very well, for a long period of time. Many of the players in this era appreciated the close geography, even competition and close rivalry of its member teams. Unfortunately over time there were a few clubs for a number of reason that saw better opportunities in other zones to their north, east and south which ultimately led to the demise of the zone which played its final season in 1999.
Consequently in 2000 Young was forced to move to another division and joined the newly formed Southern Inland Zone which was primarily made up of teams in the NSW Riverina and remains a member of this division to this day. The long distance travel required in the Southern Inland Zone is an underlying challenge for players, however is counterbalanced by a broader competition which boasts 3 open grades plus a strong 17’s competition.
Young Rugby has had many highlights over the years including two 2nd grade premierships, multiple 2nd division 1st grade premierships and one U. 17’s premierships. The club held its 50th anniversary year in 2005 which drew in hundreds of past players and supporters far and wide which highlighted the friendships developed and maintained whilst being a part of the club. The great culture of the club which is embedded in its roots stems back to its early days which is as much about the social benefits as it was about the on field performances.
The club in 2019 returns to our grass roots of country rugby where we will compete in the Central West Oilsplus South Competition, essentially the old South West group. For those who have played and or supported the Yabbies through the years, we all understand the value of the club and invite you to be part of it again!