The Dewar Shield is a Rugby Union competition in Melbourne, Victoria. It is the premier grade for Rugby in Victoria. A total of nine teams from the Victorian Rugby Union compete for the trophy.
The Victorian Rugby Union senior competition was established in 1909 with five teams, namely East Melbourne, Melbourne, South Melbourne, St Kilda and University. The Melbourne Rugby Club of that time won the first year of the five-team competition for the new trophy the Dewar Shield (donated by the Scotch Whisky Distillery John Dewar and Sons). One hundred years later in 2009 the current Melbourne Rugby Club is the reigning premiers, defeating Box Hill in the Grand Final for the same Dewar Shield.
The Premier competition is contested by nine clubs with each club fielding three teams (Premier 1, Premier 2, and Premier 3). Other senior competitions offered are Metro 2nd Division with an A, B & C Grade, Colts (U20), Country, Women and Masters (over 35s).
During this time, a number of clubs have dominated the 1st Grade results. Melbourne Rugby Club has the most number of Premierships with 17. Moorabbin holds the record for consecutive Premierships, winning six in a row from 1981-1986. Other prominent clubs during this 100-year period include Melbourne University, Power House and Navy.
Footscray and Endeavour Hills were promoted to the Premier division for the 2011 season.
Dewar Shield winners
Victorian Rugby Union Premiership winners (from 1946 onwards):
Former Premier Division clubs
(list may not be complete)
- East Melbourne, St Kilda, South Melbourne
- Hawthorne, Kiwi, Navy, R.A.A.F
a Kiwi-Hawthorn now play in the Second Division A competition.