Francis & Kassulke Rugby - come and support our team

September 1, 2017

This Saturday (September 2) will be the annual Francis and Kassulke Cup match against King’s College.

As usual the match is open to the public so please do join us if you can. The match starts at 14:00 and is played at the UQ Rugby Club, University of Queensland.

Following the match there will be a cash bar within the JCR at Leo’s and a barbecue will be cooking from 17:00.

Maybe you are a new family to Leo’s or perhaps you have forgotten the history of this esteemed annual match:

St Leo’s v Kings Rugby History

Rugby Football, both League and Union has been played among The University of Queensland Colleges since 1913, the first game being played at the Domain near the present day QUT. The King’s and St Leo’s rugby rivalry began in 1920, with the inaugural game, a rugby league match, being won by King’s. The King’s College Students’ Club report described the winning margin as “fairly huge”. Since that time, the fixture has been played in all but two years, 1928 and 1942, with St Leo’s leading known results by a margin of 44 wins to 28 with three draws. Both St Leo’s and King’s have enjoyed some “golden years” of success, King’s winning all known St Leo’s v King’s games from 1948 to 1959 and St Leo’s enjoying an unbeaten 17 years from 1991 to 2006. St Leo’s won the inaugural Francis & Kassulke Cup 26-17 at this ground in 2008.

Eric Francis

Eric Francis resided at King’s from 1914 to 1915. Schooled at Ipswich Grammar, Eric Francis was an outstanding fullback. He played two tests for the Wallabies against the All Blacks in 1914; but for the war, he would surely have played more tests for his country. He was the first University of Queensland Rugby Club player to play for the Wallabies. For his contribution to University of Queensland rugby, he was awarded a Full Blue in 1914. A volunteer in the AIF’s 15 Battalion, Eric Francis rose to the rank of 2nd Lieutenant; the 15th was heavily involved in establishing and defending the ANZAC Beachhead. Eric Francis’ Wallaby and Queensland caps are on display in the University Rugby Club clubhouse. In 1983, Eric Francis died aged 89.

Nigel Kassulke

Nigel Kassulke resided at St Leo’s from 1979 to 1981. Schooled at Marist College Ashgrove, during Nigel’s time at St Leo’s, the St Leo’s First XIII won the ICC rugby league premierships in 1980 and 1981. A rugby man at heart, Nigel was instrumental in ensuring rugby again became the Colleges’ code of choice in 1983. Capped in 1985, Nigel’s international career was cut short by a serious knee injury, sustained in his second test match appearance. A formidable outside centre, he was famed for his ball running and crunching defence. In 1985, The University of Queensland awarded Nigel a Full Blue for his contributions to University rugby with more than 100 A grade appearances for the Red Heavies.

The Francis & Kassulke Cup

Reverend Ray Hermann, a resident at King’s from 1972 to 1973 and Deputy Master at King’s from 1983 to 1985 and President of King’s College Council from 2000 to 2005 generously donated the Francis & Kassulke Cup in 2008.

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