The proud heritage and history of the Golden Lions Rugby Union stretches back to 1889 – and the Union celebrates its 130th birthday in 2019. A rich tapestry of rugby development and excellence on the field make for fascinating reading.

Have you visited the Ellis Park Rugby Museum at Emirates Airline Park? Hundreds of unique exhibits provide a 'time-machine' view of the Lions history. You can't afford to miss it. Make sure its on your 'to-do' list on your next visit.

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.

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

Originally, Transvaal wore dark blue and white jerseys, blue shorts and blue-and-white socks. We're not entirely sure when the colour change occurred. However, it is believed that beating a touring British Isles team in 1903 may have been the defining moment to switch to red and white, with black and gold added subsequently.

The GLRU competes in the Currie Cup under the sponsorship name of Xerox Golden Lions.

It also competes in the Super Rugby under the sponsorship name of Emirates Lions.

Both teams share the same home stadium, Emirates Airline Park, located in the suburb of Doornfontein.

Super 10 (won) 1993

Currie Cup (11 wins) 1922, 1939, 1950, 1952, 1971 (shared), 1972, 1993, 1994, 1999, 2011, 2015.

Lion Cup (5 wins) 1986, 1987, 1992, 1993, 1994

Vodacom Cup (5 wins) 1999, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2013



A little good goes a long way – we are committed to changing the future of South Africans.

Imagine a rugby game without supporters? Who would jeer at the ref when a questionable decision is made, or shout with joy when a try is scored? There would be no unified "ouch" when a bone-crunching tackle flattens the opposition, no "Shosholoza" to uplift the spirit of an exhausted team coming from behind.

You make it possible for our Union to do what we love. And in return, we aim to bring a little light to those in need. It's why we support the communities of South Africa.



The CSI projects we are involved with aim to improve the lives of the vulnerable and poorer communities of South Africa. A few of these projects are as follows.

Els for Autism Foundation

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.

Water Shortage South Africa

A healthy community starts with access to clean drinking water. And so, during the drought of 2016, the Union joined forces with Water Shortage South Africa to donate 20,000 litres of water to the community of Winburg in the Free State. Thanks to our dedicated Lions supporters who made this donation possible.

Emirates Lions and LeadSA

Former President Nelson Mandela said that sport has the power to change the world. It's why, together with LeadSA, we took a stand against racism. In our commitment to unify all, we have a no-tolerance attitude towards all aspects of hatred and racism.

Partnering with Dlala Nje

The Dlala Nje community centre in Hillbrow, Johannesburg, is an engaging, confidence-building environment for children in this community with little to limited access to education, culture or just a safe place to play. The learning centre provides free computer- and Internet access and homework facilitation while classes in art, dance and music awaken creative passions and nurture budding artistic talents.

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 Annemie Bester on annemie@glru.co.za.