Rugby Union

Frenchville Pioneers Rugby Union


The first 25 years. by Con Primmer (Founding President, Life Member)
I have been asked to provide a history of this club for the first 25 years. I have found the task somewhat difficult as there are few records for the first few years. The late John Simms maintained a wonderful series of scrap books containing all the games from 1971 onwards. Mark (Shirl) Sadler has a comprehensive record of the Club’s achievements with numerous newspaper photos included. If this small article has overlooked many people who have made great contributions for Pioneers I will now apologise and blame it on lack of information and advancing age.

Rockhampton Rugby Union was established on 11/4/69 by a meeting at Opal Hall, North Rockhampton. The first president was Mark Hinchliff. On 21/5/69 following a training session at Brosan Field approximately 28 players present decided to establish two clubs- City and Pioneers.

On 12/6/69 Keith Jarred approached the management Committee with this proposal and it was accepted. On approximately 15/6/69 a meeting of players who wished to play with pioneers attended a meeting to form the club at the Red Lion Hotel in Denham Street. Dr C.J.Primmer was elected President. Keith Jarred was elected Secretary and coach.


From this small beginning developed the Pioneers Rugby Club which has provided much enjoyment to over a 1000 members. Reserve grade was established in 1972 and U19 in 1973.
The first opening and commissioning of Pioneers field , Primmer Field occurred on the 9/7/77. The building was originally Thompson’s Soft Drink Factory in Gladstone road. This was shifted to Primmer Field and was renovated by a willing group of Pioneers led by a magnificent effort from Shirl Sadler over many months.
Over the years the club has had a few down years but many successful years. The Senior team has won nine Grand Finals and contested many others. Reserve grade has won three and Under 19’s two.

The club has been fortunate to be led by great adminstrators, some of the playing at the same time. These included Andrew Palmer, Rick Palmer, Ross McLellan, Shaun Coffey, Col Locke, Col McCathy, Tony Jamieson, Shirl Sadler, Ian Sutherland(Suds), Col Harder, Ron Howell, Garry Bruce, Allan Houghton, Brian Royes and Phil Jameison.
Over the years we have had many outstanding players, many of whom represented Rockhampton and central Queensland including two internationals- Stan Pilecki and Brendan Moon.
The first team ever fielded in 1969 under the Pioneers Banner was Athol Backhouse, Keith Hendy, Keith Jarred, J Brun, David Parsons, Bob Miller, Vic Deshong, John Whiteman, J Power, Alan Day, kev Hill, L Farrer, Russell Wells, and others I cannot recall.
Pioneers teams have always played the game hard and in the true spirit of Rugby and have had a wonderful spirit of camaraderie within the club.

Yours in Rugby
Con Primmer

In 1996 the Pioneers joined the Frenchville Sports Club and became the Frenchville Pioneers Rugby club. With the support of the Sports club we developed the Frenchville Junior Rugby Union club under the guiding hand of Mark Brown.

In 2009 we celebrated our 40th anniversary with many retired players and supporters (Once a Pioneer always a Pioneer) returning to celebrate the event in style. In the Past vs Present players game we got to see the first Six vs Six Front Row, once again the Pioneers are the 1st and best in Rugby in Central Queensland.


Registration packages will be announced shortly.


Ashley Gowlett
0408 711 663

John Crawford
0431 777 037

Mark Brown

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Senior Training

Senior Training is held at Primmer Oval (corner Miles and Musgrave Streets) Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6.30pm