Brian Paule, one of Royals Rugby’s most tireless contributors, is set to reach a special milestone this Saturday against Cooma at Griffith Oval – his 450th grade game for the club.
Brian has been the Club President of Royals since 2003. He was an instrumental force in bringing the club back from extinction, taking the reins after Royals lost its licensed premises and faced an uncertain future.
The Royals Rugby Club’s record of 452 games is currently held by Kani Ferris, who hung up the boots a couple of years ago. Brian looks almost certain to go into the record books with six competition games remaining this season plus the finals series.
Brian, or Buddha as he is more commonly known, started playing for Royals back in 1983 and played 31 First Grade games for the club.
“Buddha’s an institution at Royals,” fellow team-mate and committee member Brendan Maher said.
“He brings a professional attitude to his board duties at Royals, makes a real impact on the footy-field, and is a great mate.”
Club Captain Craig McMahon also echoed these sentiments.
“Buddha is a champion in every sense,” McMahon said.
“To play 450 games for Royals is an outstanding achievement and is only matched by his determination and commitment to steer the club through some of it toughest times off the field. I feel lucky to play at the same club as Buddha and luckier to call him a friend.”
Other Royals players, including Wallaby and Brumby Geoff ‘The Duke’ Didier also expressed admiration for Brian.
“Longevity is one thing, but when packaged together with passion and the love of the game and club for such a long uninterrupted period, then we’re talking about a very select band of men,” Didier said.
“Brian Paule heads this band. He is more than ‘old school’. He is the principal of the ‘old school’.”
If anyone is fit to make comment on longevity it’s Didier, who still holds the record for the oldest player to debut in Super Rugby history at 36 years and 218 days.
The Royals would like to see a big crowd at Griffith Oval this Saturday to cheer on Brian for his 450th grade game as a Royal. Brian will play for the Royals second grade team in the first division competition.
Brian Paule 450th Grade Game for Royals
Saturday, 9 July, 2011
Canberra Royals v Cooma
First Division, Second Grade