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Hard work keeps Mount Gravatt soaring

The definition of hard work in the dictionary reads... "a great deal of effort and commitment.”

One club that fits that mould is none other than the Mount Gravatt Eagles.

Nestled amongst the backdrop of the Bulimba Creek, which meanders its way around the ground, the Eagles have some of the most passionate supporters in Brisbane rugby league history.

Mount Gravatt in action in the 2021 season. Photo: Mike Simpson
Mount Gravatt in action in the 2021 season. Photo: Mike Simpson

On game day, you will find the old boys perched high on the deck swapping war stories with former teammates standing alongside the next generation of fans.

From its humble beginnings as a small district rugby league club to now boasting junior, senior and women’s teams, the Eagles have survived through thick and thin.

Interestingly, junior rugby league came to Mount Gravatt in 1958 at the Mount Gravatt Youth Club.

All smiles with the Mount Gravatt under 13s. Photo: Easts Mount Gravatt Facebook page
All smiles with the Mount Gravatt under 13s. Photo: Easts Mount Gravatt Facebook page

In 1959, Cec Rowlands, Bill Lederhose and Bob Payne established the Mount Gravatt District Junior Rugby League Football Club that played home games at the Mount Gravatt Showgrounds.

The club relocated from the Showgrounds to their current home ground at Tones Road, Mansfield in 1978 and the clubhouse was opened in October 1985.

The home ground was named Allan Innes Field in 1987, in honour of the dedicated volunteer groundsman who moved with the club to its new premises.

The iconic Allan Innes Field in Mansfield.
The iconic Allan Innes Field in Mansfield.

Initially nicknamed the Eagles, the club had a period as the Mountain Lions before reverting to the Eagles in the mid-1990s.

Many old boys and supporters, though, will always remember the club as the Lions in what was a golden era for the club.

Legends such as Tommy Kelly, Johnny Powles and Fred Allen were some of the tireless workers for the Eagles in the early days, with Powles and Allen awarded life membership.

But perhaps it is the hard-working behind-the-scenes folk of the modern era, such as Wendy Biles, Sam Ellis and the many other volunteers at the club, that keep the wheels turning well into the future.

In 2015, Mount Gravatt introduced its first dedicated women’s team, which would go on to win its first premiership the following year.

Mount Gravatt faced Aspley in last year's SEQW Orange grand final. Photo: Easts Mount Gravatt Facebook page
Mount Gravatt faced Aspley in last year's SEQW Orange grand final. Photo: Easts Mount Gravatt Facebook page

The club has had a long association with, and is a junior affiliate of Intrust Super Cup team, Brisbane Tigers.

Their role as a feeder club to NRL powerhouse the Melbourne Storm provides the opportunity of a clear pathway for Mount Gravatt juniors to rugby league's topflight.

As of 2020, three players who played junior rugby league with the Eagles, were contracted to NRL clubs – Corey Thompson (Gold Coast Titans), Edrick Lee (Newcastle Knights) and Liam Knight (South Sydney Rabbitohs).

Many more have performed in the Intrust Super Cup, including Alex and Lachlan Barr, Jack Joass and Caleb Daunt.

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Easts Mt Gravatt JRLFC (@eastsmtgravatt)

These days though, you will find club stalwarts such as Barney Tiki, Thomas Scorer and Ricky Biles suiting up for the Eagles every Saturday, as well as Eagles' trainer Gary Moore, who is now part of the furniture.

With renovations well under way in giving the club a new makeover, the Eagles are now investing in their future, to remain of one the most recognisable and family orientated clubs in the Rugby League Brisbane competition.