The Lower Clarence Rugby League Football Club Inc. or better known as the Lower Clarence Magpies was official formed as a rugby league club on the 29th of May 1915, when the first competition games of rugby league were played on the Lower Clarence. It was originally formed as a competition for towns on the Lower Clarence to form teams and play.
Before this Lower Clarence Rugby Officials were still undecided about which code of football to play, and Rugby Union was played under the banner of the Maclean Rugby Football Club.
After 1915, rugby league became the dominant football code played on the Lower Clarence which was played as either a Lower Clarence competition or played within a larger, Clarence or Upper Clarence competitions, with games played against other up-river teams. These competitions occurred right up until 1964 when the Lower Clarence Rugby League Football Club Inc. joined the Group 2 Competition.
In 1964 the Lower Clarence Rugby League Football Club Inc. also became known as the Lower Clarence Magpies when joining the Group 2 Competition.
In 1966 the club now known as “Magpies”, joined the Group 1 Competition until 2005 when the Group 1 competition combined with the Group 18 competition to create and was then known as the Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League (NRRRL). Matches are played between Grafton right up to Cudgen.
The traditional home ground of the “Magpies” is the Maclean Showground, one of the best viewing sporting grounds in Northern NSW. Although when unavailable home games are then played at the Yamba Sports Complex.
1915 – Lower Clarence Competition
1916 – 1918 Competition Suspended for War
1919 – 1926 Lower Clarence Competition
1927 – 1931 All-River Competition known as CRRL (Clarence River Rugby League)
1932 – 1936 Lower Clarence Competition
1937 – All River Competition known as UCRL (Upper Clarence Rugby League)
1938 – 1939 Lower Clarence Competition
1940 – All River UCRL
1941 – 1945 Competition Suspended for War
1946 – All River UCRL
1947 – 1948 Lower Clarence Competition
1949 – 1963 All River UCRL
1964 – 1965 Lower Clarence Magpies played in the Group 2 Competition.
1966 – 2005 Lower Clarence Magpies played in the Group 1 Competition.
2001 – The year the club folded.
2005 – Present Lower Clarence Magpies played in the combined Group 1 and Group 18 Competition to be known as the NRRRL (Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League) Competition.
The Lower Clarence Rugby League Football Club Inc. have a rich and proud tradition throughout their many years of history. The club has produced many achievements such as premierships and club championships and also producing players that have gone onto bigger and better things.
1965 – Lower Clarence won Group 2 1st Grade Grand Final
1973 – Lower Clarence won Group 1 1st Grade Grand Final
1984 – Lower Clarence won Group 1 1st Grade Grand Final vs the Grafton Ghosts at Frank McGuren Park
2009 – Lower Clarence won NRRRL 1st Grade Minor & Major Premierships vs Northern United Dirawongs at the Maclean Showground. Captain/Coach Dallas Waters
The Lower Clarence Magpies have produced many talented rugby league players with many going away to NRL clubs, some may not make it into the NRL but have experienced the commitment needed to succeed further. Here are just a few players that have gone further:
· Chimpy Bush - Australia
· Brian Smith - Eels (coach)
· Nathan Brown - St George Illawarra Dragons (Player and Coach) Huddersfield Giants (Coach)
· Tony Priddle - St George Dragons
· Nathan Tutt - Sydney Roosters/St George Illawarra Dragons/Manly Sea Eagles
· Ben Gardiner - Tigers
· Daniel Wagon - Eels
· James King - Rugby Union - Lloyd McDermott Tour (Captain)
· Cecil Heron - Indigenous BARLA Tour 1996 (Captain)
· Daniel Brown - Eels
· Dallas Waters - Manly Sea Eagles and Indigenous BARLA Tour 1996
· Greg Ford - Tigers
· Shane Essex - Tigers
· Brendan Randall - St George Dragons (U/18 Player of the Year)
· Greg Leeney - Illawarra Steelers
· Troy Gillet - Gold Coast
· Steve Brailsford - Gold Coast
· Paul Plummer - Illawarra Steelers
· Mark Laurie - Gold Coast
· Trevor Gorman - Ryde Eastman
· Darrin Heron - Panthers
· Raymond Laurie - Tigers
· Steve Laurie - Bears
· Ray McCarron - QLD
· Luke Douglas - Cronulla Sharks
· Daine Laurie - Wests Tigers/Penrith Panthers
· Hughie Stanley - Sydney Roosters U/20’s
· Birrigan Young – Many Sea Eagles U/20’s
· Kane Douglas – Rugby Union - NSW Waratahs
· Daniel Randall - Roosters U/20's
If anyone has any other details on the history of Rugby League on the Lower Clarence or history of the Magpies (e.g Premiership Winning Teams, Former Coaches, any Photos, etc.) Could you please send an email with any information you have to firstname.lastname@example.org