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The Heritage Of The Tricolours

The rich history of the Eastern Suburbs Rugby League Club (ESRLC) is as old as Australian rugby league itself, with the Club a part of the foundation season in 1908.

To celebrate this fact, the Roosters will wear a special heritage jersey in their round 6 clash with arch-rivals the South Sydney Rabbitohs.

The jersey mirrors that worn by the ESRLC in the formative years of rugby league, featuring the Tricolour horizontal hoops, all the heritage Club crests adorning the sleeves, and the 13 premiership years arched above the Roosters emblem.

The only Club to play every season since 1908, the Eastern Suburbs Rugby League Club (ESRLC) has a rich history steeped in tradition, perseverance, and achievement.

The famous red, white, and blue colour scheme have become synonymous with these values.

The colour combination dates back even further than rugby league, with the ESRLC adopting the colours and playing strip of the already established rugby union club, also known as Eastern Suburbs.

It wasn’t until the 24th of January 1908 that players from Eastern Suburbs decided in a meeting held at the  Paddington Town Hall to leave behind its Union counterparts and enter into the NSWRL, bringing with them the local playing strip worn during the rugby union days.

Rugby league legend Herbert "Dally" Messenger in the early Eastern Suburbs strip.
Rugby league legend Herbert "Dally" Messenger in the early Eastern Suburbs strip.

Variations of the hooped jersey were worn in the formative years.

In the first premiership season of 1911, the jersey consisted of several hoops; red stripes dominating over consecutive smaller white and blue stripes.

Although the width and the order of these stripes have changed over the years, the basic design always remained in tact.

Interesting Facts-

  • The Eastern Suburbs Club has always been known colloquially as the "Tricolours", and occasionally in the early years the club was also referred to as the "Beachsiders" or the "Seasiders".
  • The Rooster emblem was introduced in 1967 on the clubs first logo which also displayed the motto ‘Easts to Win”.
  • There have been two circimstances when the traditional red, white, and blue colours were unable to be worn, the first being during World War II when the design of the jersey was modified because the dye used to colour jerseys was needed for the war effort.  Instead of using the traditional hooped jersey, the team wore a sky-blue jersey with a red and white V-strip around the collar.
  • The other instance occurred from May 22 to June 26, 1920 when the players wore blue and white bared jerseys. There was a scarcity of wool at the time and the regulation red, white, and blue was temporally unavailable.
  • The last time the Roosters played in the tri-colour hoops was in a 1953 semi-final against St George. The following year Easts adopted the now familiar  red and white ‘V’ on a deep blue background.


Acknowledgement of Country

Sydney Roosters respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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