Brothers Junior Rugby League Club is a non-denominational Club, with players registering from throughout the local area and community, coming from a wide variety of backgrounds.
St Dominic’s College initially entered teams into the Penrith District Junior Rugby League competition in the early 60’s, and subsequently St Dominic’s J.R.L.C. was formed in 1968, as a separate body from the College. This was done by a group of Rugby League enthusiasts, (mainly parents of boys attending the College), with the driving force coming from Mr. Harry Slaughter and Mr. John Hasler, (father of Des Hasler). From its humble beginnings, when the Club entered 4 teams in the 1968 season, St Dominic’s has now grown to be one of the largest junior rugby league clubs in the Penrith district; and in fact one of the largest junior rugby league clubs in the world. In 2003 the Club changed it name from St Dominic’s Junior Rugby League Club to Brothers Penrith Junior Rugby League Club Incorporated, In the 2021 season had 44 sides entered in the district, with these sides ranging from under 6’s up to Open Men, additionally Brothers entered 1 team in NSWRL Major Competitions being Sydney Shield.
The Brothers Club is not only large, but it is also very competitive in all age divisions; with sides entered in First Division in every age group in season 2021. However, the Club has not lost sight that in junior sport, all ability levels need to be catered for, and it is part of our stated philosophy that one of the Club’s main aims is for its juniors, both male and female, to enjoy their sport – at the level at which they participate.
Brothers in 2014 also initiated a program for players will disabilities known as Try Time, growing from a small number of participants of 7 to well over 30 registered participants in 2021
Brothers is highly respected both within the Penrith district, and in the rugby league world; continuing to grow in strength and esteem, attracting coaching applications from as far a field as New Zealand. Over the years we have won numerous Club Championships, Management Awards, as well as First and Lower Division Premierships. Furthermore, we have won a number of inter-district and country age carnivals, and significantly the Club’s under 14, 1st division side, won the prestigious South Pacific Rugby League Championship played in Fiji in 1999.
Over the years the Club and the College have developed many fine players, with some achieving high representative honors. This list includes – Des Hasler, Greg Alexander, Brad Fittler, John Cartwright, Mark Carroll and Luke Rooney (all Australian Representative Players); together with Ben Rogers, Steve Turner, Garrett Crossman, Glen Nissan, Tas Baiteri, Ben Alexander, Steve Martin, Steve Robinson, Brandon Lee, Joe Vitanza, Tim Sheens and many more.
Brothers also offered many coaches a start in their careers, including NSW State of Origin coach Phil Gould, who coached his first side with the Club in the early 80’s; Tim Sheens, (Penrith, Canberra, North Queensland, West’s Tigers, NSW State of Origin and Australian Super league coach); Tas Baiteri, (French National Coach for several years and currently a director with the NSWRL Academy) and John Cartwright, (Assistant Coach Manly).
Brothers continue to have a large representation in Penrith Representative and Development Squads. The success of these individuals highlights the priority that the Club has given to the development of junior players.
In recent years the growth of the Club and the College has accelerated to the point where the school ovals were being utilised seven days a week. It was obvious that there was a desire for our usage to be reduced, to alleviate the degradation of the grounds. The reasons behind the Colleges increased usage revolved around its expansion from a 7 – 10 years to a 7 – 12 years school, with enrolment now exceeding 1,100 students. Approximately 37 Physical Education classes operate on the campus, with practical work being the major component of their course. With the expansion, the ovals were also utilised as part of the playground, at both recess and lunchtime.
The College had expanded its profile in the Metropolitan Catholic Schools (MCS) Competition, and now participates in the Arrive Alive Cup, (formerly Commonwealth Bank Cup). As a result of the expansion the school now fields 12 rugby league sides, 6 soccer teams, 3 rugby union sides, 2 AFL and 4 cricket sides, all of whom are based at the College for both competition and training.
We have been fortunate to maintain our link with the College and consequently a large number of players represent both the school and the Club. This link has brought with it a sense of identity, which has generated a loyalty of which we are proud.
In 2007 the college gave the club notice that it would need to vacate the college facilities, and as a consequence all games have since been played at Hickeys Lane, which has been given a major rejuvenation and as of 2022 have relocated to Parker Street Reserve Ovals, King Street Penrith NSW where new facilities are being built comprising $ international Fields, two of which will have security fencing surrounding them. All fields will benefit from the building of a new State of the Art Amenities Building meeting current guideline for Community Sport and NSWRL Major Competitions expected to be ready late 2022 or early 2023