About Us - Lions rugby

About Us

The proud heritage and history of the Golden Lions Rugby Union stretches back to 1889. The union was formed in 1889 to look after the well-being of the Gauteng rugby clubs. Its first elected president was Bill Taylor (born 1858).

The Union celebrated its 130th birthday in 2019. A rich tapestry of rugby development and excellence on the field make for fascinating reading. The Golden Lions Rugby Union (GLRU), formerly known as the Transvaal Rugby Union, changed to the Lions in 1993, then to the Gauteng Lions in 1997, before being re-branded the Golden Lions in 1998. In 2018 three companies were formed, Lions Rugby Company (professional rugby), Golden Lions Rugby Union (amateur rugby) and the group of stadiums called EPS (Pty) Ltd.

a historical time line of the golden lions rugby union

Use the arrows or swipe to navigate


lions rugby honours

currie cup - 11 wins

lion cup - 5 wins

super 10 - 1 win

vodacom cup - 5 wins

visit the ellis park rugby museum at emirates airline park

Take a stroll through Lions rugby history and relive unforgettable moments. Stand before the legends of yesteryear and the heroes of today and relive glorious moments at the Ellis Park Rugby Museum.

Browse through hundreds of unique exhibits by stepping into our ‘time-machine’. You can’t afford to miss it. Make sure its on your ‘to-do’ list on your next visit.

Where to find the museum? Going into Ellis Park Stadium through the main entrance, the museum is located on your right.

For more information on the museum, or to book a tour, please contact Natascha Vorster on 011 402 2960 or email natascha@ellispark.co.za.

Note: Bookings by appointment only

More about the museum

lions rugby colours

The striking red, white, black and gold have not always been the Lion's designated colours.

The original colours used by Transvaal were dark blue and white jerseys, blue shorts and blue-and-white socks. It is unsure when the union decided to switch over to a white jersey with a red hoop with black shorts and socks. There is a school of thought that the union adopted the famous Kilmarnock strip of white top with red hoop as a Kilmarnock member, Alex Frew, captained them when they beat The British Isles touring team in 1903. These colours are still in use today. It is also from these colours that the teams’ nickname, "Rooibontes" came from.

In 2021 the Lions reveal three jerseys, the first a starkly contrasted red and black jersey for the Rainbow Cup SA, one that will sport the more traditional red stripe true to their tradition, and the final a clean and stylish jumper on par with top global brands.

Community Outreach

Established in 2009 in Braamfontein, the Ernie Els Centre for Autism aims to raise awareness for Autism within South Africa. It also assists low-income families with receiving free intervention, and provides invaluable advice and guidance to parents and caregivers.

The Blue Pie Foundation is a non-profit organization that raises funds to focus on Welfare, Humanitarian, Conservation, Environment and Animal Welfare Issues.

If you would like to get involved with any of the projects we assist, or have a CSI project that you believe aligns with our vision, please email Tamsin Schepers on tamsin@ellispark.co.za