Robert Shute, Jack Shute and the origins of the Shute Shield

The origins of the Shute Shield While rugby in Sydney can be traced all the way back to 1829, the inaugural Shute Shield was first contested in 1923.  The newly-formed competition was named in memory of Sydney University prop Robert Elliot Shute, who tragically died during a representative game played at Manly Oval in 1922. A New South Wales v ‘The Rest’ trial match was held to help selectors pick the NSW team to face a touring New Zealand side later that year. Shute, who was making a name for himself as a bookend, was selected at prop for ‘The Rest’. Shute was left unconscious following a tackle by a NSW back. He died the following day in hospital and a Coroner’s inquest later described his death as an accident.  Shute was just 23 years old. He was a veteran of World War One, having enlisted not long after his 18th birthday in 1917, and joined the 8th Field Artillery Brigade as a Gunner in Europe before being hospitalised in Italy towards the end of the war.
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