The Sydney Roosters are a professional grade Australian rugby football club from the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney. The club competes in the National Rugby League (NRL) premiership, Australia’s premier rugby league competition. The Sydney Roosters is one of the oldest clubs in the competition and have been one of the successful clubs in the competitions history. Affectionately nicknamed ‘The Easts’ the club is one of the most beloved clubs in the league and has a strong supporter base in Sydney, throughout Australia and even internationally.
The Sydney Roosters were first founded in 1908 in the Sydney suburb of Paddington – the clubs name was originally the Eastern Suburbs District Rugby League Football Club (ESDRLFC). In the 90’s the clubs name was changed to the Sydney City Roosters, and again in 2000 to simply the Sydney Roosters. The club is known for having a fierce rivalry with competitor team, the South Sydney Rabbitohs.
The club was originally formed to represent the suburbs of Waverley, Randwick, Woollahra, Paddington, Darlinghurst and Vacluse and the Eastern side of the Sydney CBD.
The Sydney Roosters have by all accounts had an illustrious career, having won 14 NSWRL and NRL titles and many other competition awards over the years. The only teams that have won more premierships in their history are the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the St. George Dragons. The Sydney Roosters have the NRL record for the most wins and the second greatest win margin in a match in Australian rugby league history. The Sydney Roosters have won more minor premierships than any other club in the league. The team is also one of only two NRL clubs (the other club being the St. George Illawarra Dragons) to finish in the runner-up place its debut season. The Easts are also the only team to play in every season at the top level. The Sydney Roosters have been known as the ‘glamour club’ of the league for many years.
The Sydney Roosters also have many notable individual player records to their name. The clubs player, Anthony Minichiello holds the record for the most first grade games played for the club (302). The clubs former captain, Craig Fitzgibbon has the club record for the most points scored, with a tally of over 1,276 over the course of 210 matches. Dave Brown holds the club record of 45 points in a single match, the record was made in 1935 and has held up for more than seven decades.
Anthony Minichiello also holds the record as the highest try scorer in the club history, with 138 tries scored for the team.
In 1975 the club set an unmatched 19-game winning streak which led them to their 11th premiership. The clubs biggest ever winning margin (the second largest in the league overall) was a win of 87-7. The clubs attendance record was during a grand final game against the Brisbane Broncos in front of a crowd of 94,277 spectators.
The Sydney Roosters have reported losses in recent years. Like many of the NRL clubs they rely on support from their leagues club, known as The Easts Leagues Club. The Easts League is one of the larger leagues clubs in Sydney and a good revenue area. The club was first established in 1961 and has since grown to offer a number of high quality, modern facilities such as bars, bistros, gyms and lawn bowl areas for members. The club also receives income from broadcast deals, sponsorships, merchandise, beverages and food.
The clubs first home in the years between 1908-1910 was likely the Royal Agricultural ground. From 1911 onwards the club played their games at the Sydney Sports Ground. The Sydney Sports Ground remained the teams home ground right up until 1986 when the stadium was demolished to mae space for the Sydney Football Stadium. The clubs home ground was located at the Henson Park for a year, in anticipation of the completion of the new space. The following year the team moved to the Sydney Football Stadium, starting their 1988 season with a defeat in a match against the St George Dragons. The club played their final game at the stadium in 2018, in a match that saw a record breaking crowd of 44,380 spectators attend. The following year the Roosters made the Sydney Cricket Ground their home ground, whilst waiting on the new Sydney Football stadium construction to be completed.
The head coach of the Sydney Rooster’s is Trent Robinson, a former professional rugby league player whom previously played for the Wests Tigers and Parramatta Eels. He previously coached the Catalans Dragons in the Super League and later coached the Newcastle Knights.
Emblem and Colours
The Eastern Suburbs team was without a crest on their jerseys for the first hald of the 20th century, and then later wore designs on their jersey strips, but did not settle on using them consistently until the 1950s and 60s. The clubs first logo was introduced in 1967. The logo used the slogan, ‘East to Win’ in the follow-up to a season where the Roosters did not win any games. The logo also included a Rooster in the design. Certain people have suggested that the mascot choice was inspired by the mascot of the French National team. The team changed out the slogan to be simply the teams name later on, updating it to ‘Eastern Suburbs’. The logo remained the same until 1994 when the clubs name was changed and then was updated again when the clubs name was shortened to the ‘Sydney Roosters’. The clubs colours have been red, white and blue since the beginning, although the jersey has changed a number of times over the course of the clubs history. The red, white and blue colour scheme has traditionally been used by Sydney Eastern Suburbs teams since the early 20th century. The Rugby union club that predeceased the team wore the same colours. The club first tri-colour jersey used a hoop design with red stripes and smalled white and blue stripes. The basic design of the first jersey has been maintained throughout the decades, although small changes have been made. The design of the jersey was changed during World War II because the supply of the dye necessary to make the jersey was limited, as it was required for the war effort. As a result the club played in alternative colours and in a jersey with a different design. The jerseys were instead sky blue with a red and white V around the collar. This was the only time in Roosters history when the colours ever strayed away from the clubs usual colour combination. The club returned to their usual colours following the war. The team adopted a jersey design in the 1950s that included a single white stripe which was surrounded by a red stripe on either side. This jersey design remains the teams main jersey design to this day. The team experienced some design clashes with other teams in the 1990s and so the Roosters added a jersey that used a white backing and blue outer stripes instead, this became the clubs ‘away’ jersey. The club also adopted a new jersey which was based on their 1908 jersey, this is the version they wear for games against traditional rivals and on special occasions, such as during the ANZAC day game.
The clubs mascot is known as Rocky the Rooster.
The club is one of the league’s oldest, and so unsurprisingly has an impressive supporter base. The clubs has fans from all across the globe, but their strongest support base is in Sydney. The clubs internet forum of active fans is known as the ‘The Wall’, whilst the Chookpen is an unofficial website that supports the team. The club pulled in the fourth highest attendance numbers in the NRL in 2013, trailing just behind the Brisbane Broncos with an average attendance of 19,368 spectators at their games. During the games the clubs sit in a section known as the Chook Pen. The club had more than 16,000 members in 2018 and more than 41,980 members in their League club. The club has a number of notable supporters include businessman Mark Bouris, actor Simon Burke, television host Scott Cam, politician Malcolm Turnbull, media personality Gus Worland and chef Guillaume Brahimi to name a few.
The Eastern Suburbs District Rugby League Football club was originally formed in 1908 following a meeting at the Paddington Town Hall in Sydney. The club was created to enter in the NSWRL competition. The club was created to cover the Sydney suburbs of Waverley, Randwick, Wollahra, Paddington, Darlinghurst, Vaucluse and the Sydney CBD area. The team was nicknamed the tricolours in their early days. They started out strong in 1908, winning three consecutive premierships before they experienced a decline and struggled for several seasons afterwards. Things picked up after that, with the team winning several premierships and a minor premiership, despite missing a year of finals between 1926 and 1942. The club had a stellar year in 1936 and managed to become one of only five teams in the history of rugby league in Australia to go an entire season without losing a game.
The club won the premiership in 1945 but then struggled to make the finals for the following seven season. They finished in runner-up place in the 190 season and struggled throughout the rest of the 60s. The Roosters won the wooden spoon in 1966. After a disappointing decade the club had more success between 1972 and 1982, winning four minor premierships and making four Grand Final appearances. They had two consecutive Grand Final wins during this time. They set premiership records in 1974 and 1975 with 19 consecutive wins. In 1984 and 1995 the club made it to the semi-finals and almost made it a premiership in 1987. During the Super League War the club recruited coach Phil Gould and found themselves towards the top of the ladder. The club competed in four grand finals in only five years and gained their 12th premiership in 2002. They made it to the Grand Final in the following two seasons but did not win. The 2007 season was the clubs 100th, but unfortunately it was not a successful year on the field and nor was the year following. They made it to the 2010 Grand Final but did not win the match. The following year was a relatively unsuccessful one for the Roosters, due to off the field drama. 2012 was a forgetaable seaon but the following year they won the minor premiership before progressing to the final, being defeated in the end by the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles. The clubs won minor premierships for both 2014 and 2015 but were knocked out in the preliminary finals. In 2016 the Roosters suffered a horrible year, finishing second from the bottom on the ladder. They recovered in 2017 and finished in second place and then won the premiership the following year. The club finished behind the minor premiers, Melbourne Storm for the 2019 season.