Phil Doyle Becomes ACT Rugby Union Hall of Fame Recipient
Phil Doyle’s contributions to community rugby made him a worthy recipient for the ACT & Southern NSW Rugby Union Hall of Fame, as presented by Craig Leseberg, General Manager of ACT Rugby at World in Union event yesterday. We congratulate Phil on this wonderful achievement and take a look through the career and commitment to club rugby that has contributed to his being awarded this prestigious accolade.
Rugby Union is more than just a sport; it’s a community built on dedication, passion, and the pursuit of excellence. Within this community, individuals who go above and beyond to contribute to the growth and success of the sport are truly remarkable. Phil Doyle, a name synonymous with club rugby in the ACT and Southern NSW, is a shining example of such dedication. With a remarkable journey that spans playing, coaching, and supporting his local club.
Early Playing Career
Phil Doyle’s journey in rugby began at a young age, playing with Cooma Juniors. His potential soon became evident as he joined the Canberra Grammar School’s 1st XV (1981-1982), where he played a significant role as Vice Captain in 1982 and led the Grammar 7s team as its captain. Phil’s love for the game led him to continue his playing career with Cooma 1st Grade in 1983/84, followed by stints at UNSW and Queanbeyan in 1985. His return to Cooma in 1986 marked the start of a series of accolades, as he clinched the first of two MacDougall Medals for being the Best & Fairest player in the ACT Rugby competition.
A Pillar of Norths Rugby Club
Phil’s commitment to rugby led him to Canberra, where he donned the Norths Rugby Club jersey in 1987. For an impressive span of eight years, from 1987 to 1994, he played 1st Grade matches. During this period, he secured his second MacDougall Medal in 1993, a testament to his enduring excellence on the field. Phil’s dedication didn’t stop at the club level; he was a formidable presence as an ACT Representative halfback, participating in around 35 games from 1987 to 1992.
National and International Recognition
Phil’s skill and dedication gained national recognition, evident from his accolades. In 1988, he clinched the Tommy Byrne Memorial Trophy for being the Best & Fairest representative player. His talents extended beyond the Australian borders, as he was selected for the Australian Barbarians team in 1989 and represented the Australian Presidents XV. Notably, he was part of a Wallabies squad in 1988/89, even making it to the bench for a midweek game in Aldershot, England during an exchange program with the Pontypool Welsh Club.
A Legacy Beyond Playing
Phil Doyle’s contributions to rugby have not been confined to his playing days. His passion for the sport transitioned seamlessly into coaching and mentoring. After hanging up his boots, Phil became an enthusiastic coach for various junior teams, including Rosary (who he led to an undefeated premiership), Daramalan, and Uni Norths OWLS juniors across age groups ranging from Under 9s to Under 16s. His dedication was so impactful that he was honored with life membership at the Daramalan Junior Rugby Club.
Championing Uni Norths and Beyond
The flame of Phil’s rugby passion continued to burn brightly as he participated in the OWLS 5ths in 2005 and the World Masters games in 2009. Phil’s unwavering support for the Brumbies and his active involvement with Uni Norths Rugby Club further solidified his status as a rugby stalwart. In 2017, he assumed the role of Vice President – Rugby at Uni Norths and played a pivotal role in reviving the club’s fortunes.
Phil Doyle’s journey through rugby union is one of exceptional skill, unwavering commitment, and enduring passion. From his early days on the field to his leadership roles within clubs and committees, Phil’s impact on the rugby community in the ACT and Southern NSW is immeasurable. With a legacy that extends beyond his playing days, Phil Doyle stands as a shining example of what it means to be a true club man. His contributions have undoubtedly made him a deserving candidate for the ACT & Southern NSW Rugby Union Hall of Fame and Uni-Norths is incredibly proud to to call him one of our own.