The Brisbane Hustlers Rugby Union Football Club was formed in 2004 in response to demand from the local gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) community for the formation of an all-inclusive gay and gay friendly rugby union football club. Its formation coincided with the phenomenal growth of GLBT rugby union teams around the world.
On the field, the club played regular fixtures against local Brisbane teams, participated in a two-match home and away series against the Sydney Convicts and finished the year with an international tour and tightly contested match against Auckland’s Ponsonby Heroes. In this way, the Brisbane Hustlers created the opportunity for the Brisbane GLBT community to participate in domestic, interstate and international rugby.
In 2005 and 2006 in affiliation with the Souths Rugby Union Club, the club entered the Wyatt Cup competition, a Friday night Brisbane rugby union competition. The club’s supporter base also expanded rapidly, with games attracting increasing support from the local GLBT community and the general community.
Off the field the Brisbane Hustlers made a visible contribution to the local GLBT community. While its primary purpose is to play rugby, the club hosted a number of social events that were widely supported. This included a series of movie premieres, a bachelor auction night and a range of other fund raising ventures. The presence of the Brisbane Hustler jersey quickly became commonplace at community events and at gay venues throughout the River City.
In late 2007 the Brisbane Hustlers disbanded due to difficulties in filling important management committee roles.
Reforming in 2012, the Brisbane Hustlers saw great success both on and off field. Competing in the 2012 Purchas Cup the Brisbane Hustlers took second place after defeating the Melbourne Chargers and losing a highly competitive game to the Sydney Convicts. On the day of the Purchas Cup the club received notable congratulations from both senior Easts Rugby Union and Queensland Rugby Union officials who also aided in the presentation ceremonies. The 2012 Purchas Cup was not only a success for the Brisbane Hustlers, but was a pivotal day for Australian gay rugby with the tournament gaining national press and web coverage.
2012 also saw the introduction of the “Rugger Bugger” event to Brisbane, having a long standing history in Sydney. Held following the Purchas Cup tournament, the event saw players and supporters alike descend on one of Brisbane’s longest standing gay establishments for a night of festivities. After an overwhelming response from the Brisbane community, it was decided “Rugger Bugger” should be an annual event.
2012 also saw one last success for Australian gay and inclusive rugby, with the announcement that Sydney had won the bid to host the 2014 Bingham Cup. This was great news to all Australian teams, and for the Brisbane Hustlers presented their first opportunity to enter a team and compete on the international stage.
After the success of 2012, 2013 presents a year of opportunity for the Brisbane Hustlers with the targets set on the Purchas and Bingham Cups. To begin the year the Brisbane Hustlers are inviting all interested parties to attend the Open Day being held on January 13, 2013.
We hope to see everyone again in 2013!