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Wife Profile – Sarah Holmes

  1. Tell us about you?

I am the wife of a devoted long-time player and I’ve enjoyed the journey which has been fulfilling for the both of us.


  1. What is the significance of this photo of you and Josh? What memories does it hold for you both?

This was the Jersey presentation for the 2017 grand final. This was a special moment for both of us. Emotions were high for this playing group that year and it was the first time josh would be playing alongside his brother Luke in his first-ever Shute shield grand final. It was an inspiring morning building up to an incredible end result on the weekend.


  1. What has been a highlight for you during Josh’s 200 games with rats?

There have been many highlights but in particular, winning the 2017 Grand final – Josh and the 1st-grade playing group were assigned THAT mountain to show others it could be moved…

It was a highlight when everything and every emotion just came together in one incredible moment. As a club, we were confronted with our fair share of adversity that year but one we did not face alone. We were reminded in 2017 that we don’t grow as people when things are easy, we grow when we are faced with challenges and we heal together as a club but more importantly as a community.

I chose this highlight because the club’s reaction to adversity determined the ending to the boy’s story in 2017 and I couldn’t be prouder of Josh and each and every one of that playing group for the not only the way they applied themselves but also their determination, blood, sweat and tears that went into that season.

Josh always says the greatest mistake we make is living in constant fear that we will make one… Not that year! Side note: Beating the Marlins in the Semi-Final at home was a pretty sweet addition to that list.


  1. How does Josh prepare for a game?

Josh has many preparations he must complete before a game but I really should point out that I doubt anyone has come across another person who cleans his boots with a toothbrush the Friday night before game day.


  1. What does Josh’s milestone mean to you?

It means we are getting old haha!

It is a pretty special and emotionally charged moment but sometimes you never fully understand the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.


  1. What is the best Ladies Day you have ever attended at the Rats, and why?

I have attended many Ladies Days at Rats however I would have to say being involved in organizing the 2017 ladies’ day alongside Luke Holmes, supporting and raising money for the Northern Beaches Women’s Shelter was an honor to be a part of.


  1. Tell us about a person that you admire at the Club. Why do you think they make a significant impact?

Not one individual but I prefer to say the incredible support staff, volunteers, Hillbillies who give up their time, effort, and support to be there for this club week in week out.

2020-09-16T21:22:27+00:00September 16th, 2020|0 Comments

Player Profile, Alex O’Dell

In 30-seconds, tell me about yourself?
Coming from Melbourne, I played almost every sport except rugby until I was at high school. I was lucky enough to play rugby in Perth for Joondalup, in Canada for the Nanaimo Hornets and now find myself in the Northern Beaches playing for the Rats!

On behalf of the Warringah Rugby Club family, I would like to express our condolences on the sudden loss of your beloved grandmother, Elaine.  I’ve been told by those who knew her that she was a funny, happy and kind person with an unapologetic personality. Can I ask, what would her unapologetic personality say on your current hairstyle?
Funnily enough, she thought it was great. She was actually a bit of a renegade herself, she got her first tattoo in her 80’s just a few years ago. But as I was her only grandson she loved everything I did!

In February this year, you came to your new Rats Family on the Northern Beaches. I believe you have found your feet in our bubble, even recently complaining that you had to travel to Gordon! How have you found the transition from rural Victoria to the Northern Beaches?
Rural Victoria hahaha Melbourne is actually a capital city believe it or not. It has been a terrific transition. I’ve even managed to get through recovery on a Sunday with some warm water and the sun on my back and I don’t think I could’ve found a better group of boys to live with either.

What position do you play, and what have been the biggest challenges in finding your place at Rat Park?
Since coming to the Rats, I have played in the second row and sometimes lucky enough to get in the back row! The training load has been a massive shock to me coming from just two field sessions a week to three gym and field sessions but the little things off the field that I have picked up from people has been a massive help.

Your parent’s purchased two platinum season members tickets to watch you every game.  Due to COVID-19 restrictions, they are unable to leave Victoria. What has this felt like to be so isolated from your family and friends due to the pandemic? Are your family and friends safe and how are they coping with the new restrictions?
I was lucky enough to have my parents come up and visit and then as they were on their flight back home they announced Melbourne was going into isolation again and since then its been tough but the group of boys here have been a huge help. Having Rivo around has been unbelievable he’s always been there but especially since I found out my grandma wasn’t looking good he has been a hero. Even Carly has been a wonder, I won’t say it because I don’t think mum would be too happy to hear but Carly’s lasagne has found its way into our house a couple of times and it isn’t too bad.

The One Punch Kill campaign is significant to you, can you tell me why?
Pat Cronin was just a few years older than me, lived in the same area and our mothers are good friends but he was unfortunately killed by a coward punch one night when he was just 19 and it hit the whole community like a rock. Since then, his parents Matt and Robin have started the Pat Cronin Foundation which raises awareness, educates and research into the cowards punch. Seeing the pain of the Cronins after that, makes me not want to see anyone go through that pain so I’m now a believer of being wise and ending the cowards punch.

What do you like to do for fun when you’re not at Rat Park?
I’ve been making the most of this terrific weather that happens up here and have been getting out for a swim as much as possible but other than that I’ve just been trying to find the best banana bread on the northern beaches and I don’t think anywhere has come close to Zubi. You’d find me in there probably a bit too much if you asked the boys I live with.

2020-08-21T03:47:05+00:00August 21st, 2020|0 Comments


Warringah Rugby Club, via ISC, is selling a range of children’s (only $49) and adult (only $69) sized Juniors Round jerseys that come with our Junior player’s names and the emblem of our Junior clubs in the district. Additionally, you can have it numbered in any number of your choice between 1 – 15!

To have your very own numbered Rats 1st Grade Juniors Round jersey (what a great Christmas present – especially for any Manly supporters you know), please go to and complete the information and payment details. You will be given the option also to pick up from the Club or have the item delivered. The Club also offers Zip Pay as an option as well.

Orders will close at 5pm on Monday 17 August. The club expects to take delivery of these great jerseys within approximately 4-5 weeks of placing the order.




2020-08-10T05:40:44+00:00August 10th, 2020|0 Comments

2020 Intrust Super Shute Shield Draw!!!!!!

Wonderful news.

The SRU has released the 2020 Shute Shield draw.

There are 13 teams, including Penrith and Newcastle for this season only and there are 13 rounds, so everyone plays each other once and 1 bye. Our highlights include the much anticipated Grand Final replay between ourselves and Sydney University here at Rat Park in the 1st Round to launch the season! The final round sees us play our 2017 Grand Final opponent Norths, also here at Rat Park, before commencing the normal 3 week finals series culminating in the Grand Final on 31st October (location TBC).

There is also the likelihood that we will host at Rat Park a home game or two for other Clubs who lose their ground to cricket. We are unsure right at this moment what restrictions on crowds may be in place, but there will be crowds of some sort.

Stay tuned for more detail over the next week, but more importantly, get ready for a massive 1st Round against University on Saturday 18th July.

The boys are training hard and busting to get out there. Clear your diaries, consider buying a Rats membership and get excited!”

2020-06-19T04:42:50+00:00June 19th, 2020|4 Comments

Message from our Head Coach, Mike Ruthven.

Good morning valued Warringah Rugby Sponsors and Supporters

Firstly, I wanted to acknowledge the challenging circumstances we are all currently living through and trust that you are all healthy. I can appreciate that many of you will have had significant impacts imposed on your business and daily lives due to the recent government restrictions to normal trade practices. As a community rugby club, where our sponsors and supporters are the lifeblood of our existence, we stand with you and offer you our support in any way we can. It’s going to be challenging times, but we will come out the other side of this. If there are ways in which our players can support you through this next period, please reach out and we will drive that through our various communication channels we have with our playing group. In positive news, we have thus far managed to avoid any known cases of the virus within our club, and credit must go to the board and our general manager for the decisions they made around isolating our playing group.

On to more encouraging topics. I thought it was a good time to take stock and reflect on our pre-season and some of the great things we have been doing and take you inside a few of those initiatives.

Pre-season began for us on the 11th November 2019. The structure of our pre-Xmas training block was a combination of Gym, Field/Skill and Running. We had the generous support of Paul Amiradaki at 360 Strength & Performance who opened up his Gym to us and allowed our 1st Grade Squad to train there on Monday nights. These Monday nights created the best Gym culture that the club has seen for some years and this was reflected in some of the results we saw through our testing over this period. That Gym culture has naturally transferred into the wider Club group and this has been evident on most evenings down at the Rats gym throughout our post Xmas training block.

One of the initiatives we explored this pre-season, was around ‘Mental Fitness’ and creating an environment where our players felt stronger within themselves and had the ability to communicate more openly. Through the wonderful support of Andrew Ward (Head Above Water) and Vicky and Gus Worland (Gotcha 4 Life), we were able to implement the ‘Tomorrow Man’ program. This has been an incredibly powerful experience for our 1st Grade Squad who have navigated through 2 workshops to date. The remainder of our club were due to commence their program through the first stage of the program until Covid-19 got in our way. This is something we will obviously re-visit when the time is right, and we can re-engage as a club.

The other significant initiative during our pre-season was a full senior club visit to Scone in regional NSW. I would like to acknowledge the Friends of Warringah for their incredibly generous support in making this happen. It would not have been possible without them. This purpose of this visit was two-fold – it was an opportunity for our 1st Grade Squad to get away as part of our pre-season camp and just as importantly it was also an opportunity for our lower grade group to play some trials against some very passionate and skilled country rugby clubs.

This opportunity also gave us the chance to engage in an incredibly meaningful way with the local rugby community and on Friday 6th March, our 1st Grade Squad ran a coaching clinic for Scone Junior Rugby Club and some of its smaller surrounding towns. Full credit to the playing group, who did a great job and promoted our club and brand in an extremely positive light. On Saturday 7th March, a lower grade group of around 40 players participated in a 4 way round robin against Scone, Singleton and Wanderers Rugby Clubs. It was a great day of footy and again the spirit in which our boys played their footy was a great reflection on our club.

The Scone camp/visit lead us into our first trial for 2020 on March 14th. 1st Grade again had the privilege of competing in the Australian Club Championships against Brothers from Qld, whilst the rest of the senior club played Sydney Uni. The club trials against Sydney Uni were incredibly encouraging in wet and windy conditions. The fruits of the players hard work throughout pre-season were on show, with some exciting footy in periods. There were many new faces getting an opportunity to play for Warringah for the first time and everyone did themselves proud.

1st Grade got off to a rocky start in their game against Brothers. Down 19-0 after 20 mins, I was incredibly proud of the way in which the boys remained composed and managed to claw their way back into the game before half-time. The second half looked a little better for us in terms of continuity and we started to find periods of dominance over our opposition. We were able to get away with a win on the bell, which made it 3 from 3 for Warringah competing in the ACC. There were some really encouraging individual performances from our squad. Some of those to standout were Sam Ward, Tyson Davis and Max Girdler. It should also be noted, we had a number of new faces from last year’s Grand Final team who got an opportunity to stake a claim for Round 1 selection. Brothers were a very good opposition for our first hit out for 2020, and whilst it wasn’t always pretty, there were enough encouraging signs heading into our next trial.

I would like to also recognise the work of Greg Marr with our 7’s program that saw us Semi-finalists in Hamilton on the 14th Feb and then the winners of the Kiama 7’s on the 29th Feb. This continued the club’s strong representation at 7’s tournaments over many years now. Additionally, at Hamilton our under 20’s men’s side and our Women’s side both made the final. And the Women made the final in Kiama rounding off an incredibly successful WRC 7’s campaign again.

I would like to acknowledge some of the achievements of our players off the back of a very successful 2019 season. Warringah was well represented throughout the 2019 NRC competition. Rory O’Connor, Ru Mackenzie, Sam Thomson, Tyson Davis, Ben Marr were all chosen to represent Sydney, whilst Ben Woollett and Maclean Jones were selected for Country. It should also be noted that Wes Thomas and Matt Foulds were both drafted into the Country squad at various times.

In 2020, Rory O’Connor obviously continued on with his contract with the NSW Waratahs, while Boyd Killingworth was signed by the Melbourne Rebels and Luke Reimer signed by the Brumbies for the 2020 Super Rugby seasons. Ben Woolett and Harry Jones were also invited down to spend extended periods with the Melbourne Rebels throughout the Super Rugby pre-season and both players had significant involvement in the A programs for the Rebels. Sam Thomson picked himself up a contract with Edinburgh back in Scotland and Maclean Jones recently was signed by Austin in Texas to go and play in the MLR in America. Unfortunately, due to the Virus that competition had been canceled for the remainder of 2020.

I remain optimistic and positive that we will get on the field at some stage this season. As a first year Head Coach, no one is more disappointed and frustrated by the current circumstances. There has been a significant amount of work and effort done in to the last 6 months. We are working hard at the moment to be proactive and innovative in making sure we keep our players engaged and working hard. So far so good, and credit must go to Dan Tilley (our S&C coach) who is driving a lot of that. I am also trying to implement some skills sessions that our players can get through in their own time and space. Please do not underestimate the importance and significance of your continued support through this challenging period. As I said at the start, our sponsors and supporters are the lifeblood of our club and I’ll make it my mission to repay you all once we get back on the field with some exciting and successful footy.

Once again, many thanks, take care, stay healthy and best wishes to all your family, friends and co-workers throughout these challenging times.

I look forward to seeing you all at Rat Park in the near future.



Mike Ruthven

2020-03-25T01:55:06+00:00March 25th, 2020|0 Comments

Hello members, supporters, sponsors and players.

As we are all living this horrible moment in history, I won’t dwell on it. If you are struggling and need help to shop etc., please email myself or Guy and we can arrange assistance.

Warringah Rugby Club, like far too many sporting clubs and businesses, has some tough choices to make over the next few weeks and probably months. Even as I write this, I know things will change and the protocols will evolve. These are the inputs the board must take into consideration before it makes tough decisions very quickly.

  1. We can play rugby right up to the end of November, but we don’t have a firm start date yet.
  2. RA & NSWRU have applied for community funding. Of course, at this time, we don’t know if we will get any of it, how much and when.
  3. WRC has not generated any substantial revenue for 7 months and yet at the same time we have already invested in our 2020 season. This includes the purchase and payment for all of our playing and training gear (ordered in November), our merchandise for sale and of course our pre-season commenced in November so coaching staff, S& C staff, ground rental all come at a cost.
  4. If we close the doors and send everybody home the club will lose all momentum and recovery back to where we are today could, and most probably would, take years. We didn’t get to where we are today overnight or in one season.

If we want a quick recovery the only way we will achieve this is through commercial support. I know we are not the only club in this position and unfortunately a greater number of clubs are in a worse position. I take no comfort from that. The Rats are the strongest community club in the country, and we will survive this and play our part in the community, but only if we can find a way to keep the doors open.

What can you do if you are at all in a position to do so is:

  1. Keep buying memberships. These are available on our website and can be purchased using our buy now pay later platform, Zip Pay. Remember, this does come with merchandise and gym membership – the cheapest gym membership in Australia!
  2. Join Friends of Warringah. Your contributions can vary and are tax deductible. FOW have been instrumental in so many of our achievements and in the support of our players and their aspirations.
  3. Sponsors, they need your support so they can support us. All sponsors links are on our website and we will be sharing more detail on how you can support them through this difficult time.

I certainly don’t have all the answers and unfortunately the board still has to make many tough and at times uncomfortable decisions, but we are asking, if you can, to please stick with us during this uncertain time.

Thanks again for your support


Phillip Parsons


2020-03-22T23:56:13+00:00March 22nd, 2020|0 Comments

Club Announcement: Statement regarding Community Rugby.

“To all Warringah Rugby Club supporters. As per the below Media Release from Rugby Australia, some clarity has been provided regarding Community Rugby, of which WRC and the Intrust Shute Shield are an integral part of. It is appreciated by WRC that this decision and direction has been made as now we have a broad timetable upon which to plan and all Clubs will be running their rugby operations in the same way. Further, the great news is that there will be a Shute Shield season and our magnificent and highly talented players in Grade, Colts and the Ratettes will all be vying for premierships in 2020.


Click here to view media release ->


The essence of the release is that all rugby operations must cease immediately until the first week of May. This includes playing matches, training and face to face education. Today WRC had already taken a step in this direction where today we had suspended all of our own rugby operations for two weeks including the upcoming two trial matches. We have included in this protocol the closure of the gym for the next two weeks and in this time it will also be professionally cleaned and sterilised.

RA, NSWRU, SRU and all Shute Shield Clubs will now be working to put some definition and a distinct timetable upon when training will recommence and when the 2020 Shute Shield season kicks off. As this information develops, this will be passed on.

As you will appreciate, this news is actually of great comfort to our players. Everyone works. Some own their own businesses. And they all love our Club, the game and our wonderful supporters. However, their health is tantamount, and they now have clear air that ensures their health, safety and their ability to work is not jeopardised by their love of WRC and their desire to play rugby.

We look forward to seeing everyone at Rat Park in 2020, albeit a little later than planned, but in full health.”

Thanks and best regards

Guy Fraser-Hills
General Manager
Warringah Rugby Club
Phone: 9913 2150

2020-03-17T00:30:26+00:00March 17th, 2020|0 Comments