AIC Year in Review: Rugby

2023 was an incredible year for AIC Rugby. Competition across all divisions was again incredibly close, highlighted by a First XV “Premiership Decider” in Round 7 and the overall champion school ‘Aggregate Shield’ being decided by half of a point.

The AIC competition continues to be a strong breeding ground for Queensland and Australian rugby talent, highlighted by both the talented athletes inducted in the 25 Years AIC Hall of Fame who have gone on to higher honours post school, and to the large number of AIC students currently in representative rugby pathways.

AIC Hall of Fame
This year’s AIC Hall of Fame included a number of past students at AIC Colleges who have gone onto higher honours and outstanding careers in the game of Rugby. Congratulations to Nick Frisby (Marist College Ashgrove), Sam Johnson (St Edmund’s), Luke McLean (St Laurence’s), Drew Mitchell (St Patrick’s), Ben Mowen (Villanova), Tom O’Toole (Padua), Moses Sorovi (St Peters) and James Stannard (St Edmund’s).

Peter Daley Medal
It is with great sadness that we learned late this year of the passing away of Peter ‘Doubles’ Daley. A legend of the game of Rugby in Queensland, the proudest of supporters of St Laurence’s, Souths, Queensland and Australian Rugby. ‘Doubles’ was an incredible advocate for both our Association and for Schoolboy Rugby in general. His contribution to both our Association and Schoolboy Rugby over his lifetime was recognised in 2023 with the naming of the Peter Daley Medal. The Peter Daley Medal was sponsored by the Queensland Rugby Union and presented after each AIC First XV fixture to the Best and Fairest player from each team. It was an honour that Peter made himself available throughout the 2023 season to present the medal. In this time of grief, our thoughts and prayers are with all of ‘Doubles’ family, friends and the broader Rugby community who were impacted so positively by his tireless efforts and generosity.

First XV Premiership
For the second year in a row, the First XV premiership was decided on the final day of the season with a contest between two undefeated teams – St Laurence’s and Padua. And for the second year in a row, St Laurence’s were able to claim the victory and the premiership with a wonderful team display of rugby. This was St Laurence’s fourth First XV premiership in succession- building on the ‘shared’ premiership of 2020 and ‘undefeated’ premierships of 2021 and 2022. Padua finished runners up with the Marist College Ashgrove and Villanova in equal third place.

AIC Premierships
5 schools were able to secure AIC premierships with a number of very tight competitions that resulted in multiple shared premierships. Congratulations to the following College’s on claiming rugby premierships in 2023.
Marist College Ashgrove: 3rd XV, 4th XV, 10B*, 8A, 8B, 8C*
Villanova: 9A*, 9B, 7A, 7B, 7C
St Laurence’s: 1st XV, 10B*, 8B*, 8C*
Iona: 10B*, 10C, 9A, 8C*
Padua: 2nd XV, 10A
(*) denotes a shared premiership.

2023 was the closest AIC Aggregate Competition in AIC history with the final championship being claimed by only a half of a point. Congratulations to Iona College who claimed the ‘Aggregate Shield’ for the second time in AIC history. A very close second was Marist College Ashgrove with Villanova in third place.

Representative Pathways
In 2023, a large number of past and present represented Queensland or Australia in representative pathways highlighted by current students – Finn Mackay (St Laurence’s) and Will Ross (Padua) who were selected in the Australian U16’s team and Lehopa Leota (Iona) who was selected in the Australian Schools and U18’s team.

The Association would like to thank the Queensland Rugby Union (QRU) for their ongoing support of AIC Rugby. This year the QRU supported with a number of positive initiatives including the introduction and purchase of the Peter Daley medals, supplying of independent match managers for all First XV fixtures and providing the Live Streaming of First XV matches.