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Shute Shield 2019

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the coach

Bob Davidson (42)
RIP "Sayley"

It’s with an extremely heavy heart that Randwick DRUFC announces the passing of Jeffrey Leonard Sayle. Jeffrey died peacefully last night in Prince of Wales Hospital, Randwick after a long and courageous health battle.

Jeffrey was a much loved figure and absolute legend in the game, our club, Coogee Surf Club and our local community. With over 60 years involvement in so many guises, he was the heart and soul of Randwick Rugby.

Our President Bob Dwyer will reflect on his massive achievements and legacies in a tribute that will be sent later today. Funeral details will be advised in due course.

Our deepest condolences go to his sister Jeanette, his family and mountain of friends across the rugby world.

Rest in Peace ‘Sayley’ - we all love you and will miss you greatly.

Up the Wicks!

Mark Harrison
General Manager
Randwick Rugby Club

The word "legend" must have been invented to describe Sayley.
RIP mate.


Steve Williams (59)
Staff member
One thing I know about Sayley. He did enjoy a cold beer on a hot day.

Did he ever! With a particular fondness for Tooheys Old.

I met Jeff when I was at Hahn Brewery in Camperdown. He was manager of the Waratahs in the early 90s, they were starting their rep campaign in 1993 and the manager of Hahn organised a reception for the team. Hahn's a very small brewery (a complete tour takes about 10 minutes done slowly) with about 10 5,000 litre storage tanks. Each tank has a coupling at the bottom similar to the male end of a hydraulic connection, it's to enable a hose and gun to be connected so's the brewers can take a sample for quality and sensory evaluations. Jeff watched one of the brewers take a plastic jugful from one tank, he took the gun and put it in his mouth and asked a photographer to take a piccy. "Do you mean I can stand here and drink this tank dry?", he asked, with his usual huge grin on his face. "I can die a happy man right now".


Ted Fahey (11)
A fitting tribute to Sayley........from one of his protege's....(Acknowledgement to Rugby.com.au)

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika counted Jeff Sayle as a coach, a mentor and a mate.
After Sayle's passing today, Cheika sat down in Tokyo and wrote his friend a letter.
"To Sayley,
The news this morning hit me like brick. You did more for me that I can put into words but I’m going to give it a try.
You taught me, first and foremost, to love the game. You were always so positive about the game – you lived it, you bled it and you did a bloody good job.
I think the biggest thing mate was that you did it all by action. Just by the way you behaved rather any big stirring speech or whatever. There’s a lot of carry on with rugby nowadays but the great things about the game are friendship, teamwork, passion, loyalty, honesty, respect – and I learned all that because of you Jeff.
You treated every person in the club the same, from the battler in sixth grade to the third grade colt and then all the way to first grade. You were always a passionate and loyal friend to all.
You were definitely a players person. You had this amazing skill of bringing us all together. The weird mix that we all were. You could connect with the street rat kid, the Indigenous kids, the elbow patch kids and everyone in between – and you could pull them all under the same banner in Rugby.
You not only inspired me but a whole generation of players to love playing the game. You loved playing and watching the game for the contact AND for the running rugby.
Look at the stable of coaches and players that you’ve overseen or had an influence on. You were with Bob, there with Eddie and Ewen – the countless Wallabies and Waratahs you’ve had an impact on. You lit a fire - a real passion - in people and the game is now richer for it.
Just one of the things I’ve taken with me is your ethos on the ‘identity’ of a club. You knew how to talk training and then how to get the blokes around a BBQ afterwards.
You were also a legendary tourist. Nearly every great story would begin and end with you. When I was deciding between playing League or Union - one of the reasons I stayed was because I thought I’d get more free trips overseas with rugby! We ended up on tours to Uruguay, Hawaii, Papua New Guinea and around Portugal and some other parts of Europe on Rugby trips together.
You were actually a bit of a helping hand when I ended up venturing overseas to play too.
Well you nearly didn’t let me do it you shifty bugger. You were General Manager of Randwick at the time and I was just a punk pulling beers behind the bar. I ventured into your bomb of an office one day – papers and stuff everywhere. In and amongst all the stuff I saw this little note of a club in France looking for a number 8. I pinched it, called the number, got the gig and came back to talk to you – and then you laughed as you told me that you didn’t actually want me to get that!
Then there was the time I got my head cut. It was pretty bad – about 36 stitches or so. It was in the Qualifying Final or one of those one year. I had to miss the Semi but was dead keen on playing the final against Easts. I said to you “there’s no way you’re going to stop me from playing.” You said “Righto, but you need to get your head drained before you play.”
So there I go, into hospital – poor young, naïve kid – with no idea what’s really going on. Anyway, I woke up the next day after being knocked out on general anaesthetic and by the time I came good, they said I couldn’t play. You were looking after me that day even though I was filthy at you for weeks.
And then there was the time after we won the 88 or the 89 Grand Final – when you took the whole team into the hospital to see the wife of one of lads. She had just given birth, like either that day or the night before – and in rock 25-odd steaming blokes to see this little newborn and this poor shell-shocked lady who had just given birth. Really one of your great ideas Sayley.
But that was exactly it mate – you taught me what truly being part of a community is about. You were an example of that when times were good, and were times were bad.
You are Grassroots Rugby Sayley. Men like you will always make it succeed. And Australian Rugby is poorer today without you mate.
So as you used to say mate “Whooshka boomie. Let’s go”.
We will try to honour you by playing with that same verve for the rest of this World Cup."


Phil Kearns (64)
I grew up in an era when Randwick were really dominant, and also when they were a beacon of attacking rugby. No kicking, as a matter of principal.

Great memories, sometimes painful in terms of win/loss ratios, but kudos to the club, and Jeff Sayle will be remembered as a stalwart for a long time.


Ward Prentice (10)
NSW Rugby clubs map by region including club details and logo (Seniors only).

Sydney Rugby Union split by competition (Seniors only).

Sydney Rugby Union
Central Coast Rugby Union
Illawarra District Rugby Union
Central West Rugby Union
Mid North Coast Rugby Union
Far North Coast Rugby Union
Central North Rugby Union
New England Rugby Union
Western Plains Rugby Union


Phil Kearns (64)
In summary, yes Gordon need to do more to retain locals at the elite end of the club - the way to solve this is getting them in colts (which will take some years to flow through). Lower grades is not a problem with locals.

Numbers are a bit off though Rorke, Margin, Maguire, Goddard, Walton, Fraser fit into your category in 1st grade.

How many of this year's squad are local products?


Colin Windon (37)
going by the crazy amount of players Gordon have this season and their position on the club champs - it looks like the investment in locals (and others) is starting to pay off.


Phil Kearns (64)
why are we in last years thread?

I bumped it because I was interested in this year's answer to last year's question. A bit confusing, I grant you. But then Gordon is a confusing rugby club. On a serious note, they claim, or used to claim, that they had the biggest junior enrolment in the nation. It would be nice to think that they are going gangbusters this year on the strength of their own grass roots, not only the depth of their wallets.
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