St Pius X College (SPX) rugby has a long and proud history. The famous ‘blue and gold’ bars date back to when the College first opened its gates in 1937.
SPX competes in the Independent Schools Association (ISA) rugby competition with schools such as: St Patricks College Strathfield, Oakhill College and St Augustines College. We also play trial matches against a number of schools outside of the ISA competition such as Cranbrook and St Aloysius College.
The SPX Rugby Club is a parent-driven body that operates under the auspices of the College Parents and Friends Association and it supports the SPX Sportsmaster and rugby convener to promote, enhance and uphold the proud rugby traditions of the College. We actively encourage parents to become involved with the Club to support their son’s rugby experience at SPX.
The Club raises funds for equipment, organises and supports a number of activities throughout the year such as attending Super Rugby matches, skills development clinics, rugby tours, a SPX Rugby supporters’ dinner and the rugby annual presentation night.
SPX is one of the few Colleges that has an active Old Boys rugby club, the Brothers Rugby Club (Sydney), which was established in 1947. Brothers are part of a network of Brothers Rugby Clubs that spans Australia and the South Pacific, with over 35 affiliated clubs. Brothers helps SPX Rugby wherever possible.
Representative honours can be gained in teams such as the combined ISA team, NSW Schoolboys and Australian Schoolboys teams. SPX has produced several players who have been selected as Australian Schoolboys over the years, most recently Luke Jones, Australian Schoolboys 2008 & 2009, and Michael Hooper, Australian A Schoolboys 2008. Both Players are current Wallabies with Michael Captaining the Wallabies during the 2014 season.
Luke Jones has represented Australia at schoolboy level and at two Junior World Championships. He is ranked 3rd overall in number of Australian Schoolboys Caps won. He was the first forward in Australian rugby to sign professional terms as a schoolboy, and played two games for the Western Force in 2010. After moving to the Melbourne Rebels in 2011, Luke won the Rebel Rising Player of the Year award in his debut season and has now established himself as a Rebels star in the making, playing in either the second-row or back-row. Luke made his Wallaby debut Vs France in Melbourne in 2014.
Michael Hooper (Wallaby #859) made his debut for the ACT Brumbies in 2010. In his three seasons with the Brumbies, he developed into one of Australia's most exciting back-rowers. In 2011 Michael had the honour of Captaining the Australia Under 20s team at the IRB Junior World Championship and was named International Player of the Tournament. After a stellar 2012 season for the ACT Brumbies, Michael went on to make his full international debut for the Wallabies vs Scotland in June 2012. Michael moved back to Sydney to play for the HSBC Waratahs in 2013. He stepped up yet again during the 2013 season and was awarded the Waratahs Player of the Year, Australian Super Rugby Player of the Year and the John Eales Medal as Wallabies Player of the Year. Michael’s stellar career continued in 2014, when he Captain both the Waratahs and Wallabies, leading the Waratahs to their first ever Super Rugby title.
SPX Rugby Coaching & Development
To assist with strength, depth and ongoing development of the SPX Rugby program, Mike Penistone and Francis Cullimore have been appointed as SPX Rugby Development Officer and 1st XV Head Coach, respectively. These highly credentialled Coaches will ensure that all SPX teams and players are given the best possible training, coaching and development to fulfil their Rugby potential. Background profiles on Mike and Francis are as follows:
Mike Penistone : SPX Rugby Development Officer
My father took me to watch Rugby League at Leeds (UK) when I was 5...I fell in love with the rugby ball! I played Rugby League at Leeds as a schoolboy and Rugby Union Open Age for Nottinghamshire. I followed the Wallabies and the Kangaroos from the early 80s and first came to Australia in 1986. I was so impressed with the Wallabies and the Kangaroos and in particular how young they were. I met Bob Dwyer when he was coaching at the Leicester Tigers, and I have worked closely with him at Bob Dwyer Rugby Australia.
1985/6 Trent Polytechnic Head Coach. (Rugby League)
1987/89 Cambridge University Head Coach. (Rugby League)
1987/1990 England students Head Coach. (Rugby League)
1987/1991 Great Britain students Head Coach. (Rugby League)
1992/1993 Sheffield Eagles Assistant coach. (Rugby League)
1995/1997 Nottingham RUFC Assistant coach (Rugby Union)
1998/1999 Nottingham RUFC Head Coach. (Rugby Union)
2000/2006 Leicester Tigers Academy coach. Head of Elite player development.
2006/2007 U21s coach NSW Waratahs Sydney.
2007/2011 Director of Coaching Eastern Suburbs Sydney.
2011. Guest coach (4 Months) OMBAC San Diego.
Currently Director/Coach www.rugbycoachingconsultancy.com
Francis Cullimore : SPX 1st XV Head Coach
My passion for Rugby stems from when I was 6 and played my first game - I haven't looked back since. My dad was a huge influence and inspired me to continue as far as I could with Rugby. Like many kids, I wanted to be like my dad, I wanted to reach the top and play at a high level and through years of hard work it paid off.
I am a professional Fitness Trainer/Coach and have worked for a number of private high schools and Rugby clubs in Sydney. I have been fitness coach working alongside Greg Virgona at St Pius X in recent years, and I have worked with Bob Dwyer and Mike Penistone. This re-appointment as Head Coach for SPX Rugby is a great honour and a challenge I will meet head-on.
New Zealand Rugby League 7s
Australian Rugby Union 7s
New Zealand Maoris
NSW Waratahs Super Rugby
New Zealand Junior Kiwis
Playing over 250 1st grade games for Norths, Warringah & Manly in the Shute Shield
External Assistant Coaches
In an effort to further build player and team skills, the SPX Rugby Club has also begun funding external coaches to assist SPX staff and individual teams. These coaches are appropriate current or recent players with up to date skills who work alongside SPX rugby coaches and within the rugby development philosophy of the College to help run practice sessions and support teams on match day.
The College fields a number of teams in each age group, for boys from Year 5 through to Year 12. If your son chooses to play rugby for SPX, he is expected to make a commitment for the season and priority must be given to the College team over a Club side. This not only benefits the College with school spirit, but it also enhances the personal growth of your son and gives him a sense of belonging. The more your son becomes involved in College life, the more friends he will make and the better he will be for the experience. St Pius X College is a community and every boy has a commitment to build and maintain that community.
The SPX Rugby Club is a parent driven organisation which operates under the auspices of the College P&F and supports the SPX Sports staff to promote, enhance and uphold the proud Rugby traditions of the College. We actively encourage parents to become involved with the Rugby Club to enhance your sons rugby experience whilst at SPX.
SPX Rugby also organises and supports a number of activities throughout the year, including events such as attending Super 15 matches, skills clinics, Development Tours, SPX Rugby Dinner and the Rugby Presentation Night.
SPX is one of the very few Colleges to have an active Old Boys rugby club, Brothers Rugby Club Sydney, established in 1947. Brothers are part of a network of Brothers Rugby Clubs which spans Australia and the South Pacific, with over 35 affiliated clubs. Brothers are actively involved in helping out SPX Rugby wherever possible.
We hope that you and your son enjoy all that SPX Rugby can offer.
SPX Rugby Club Committee