Associates Legend Reaches 400 Caps for Club

Wed, Apr 17, 2024, 2:00 AM
by RugbyWA Media

This weekend will see Associates legend, Graeme Watson, reach 400 Caps for the club. 


Saturday will see Graeme Watson reach an incredible milestone, playing his 400th Senior game for Associates. Graeme will be the seventh person in Associates’ history to reach this monumental achievement. 

“Reaching 400 caps for Soaks isn't just a milestone; it's a marathon of dedication!” Associates Club President, Kris Martinick, said. 

“Having someone showcase this level of commitment and passion sets a high bar and standard! It proves that our jerseys and shorts might fade and get a little tighter with age, but the Soaks and rugby comradery remains strong.” 


Graeme commenced his journey with Associates as a junior, earning his reputation as a gifted backrower.  

“Playing for Soaks has been a huge part of my life, as well as my family's,” Graeme shared. 

“I started playing for Soaks in 1989, only 2 years after they started their junior club.” 

Throughout his time as a junior with the club, Graeme held some fond memories – from cold, wet mornings at Brittania Reserve on set up, to being coached by the late Dick Trend on a team managed by Graeme’s Dad. 

Another key memory saw Graeme “... Scoring the only try in the Under 14 Grand Final and beating an undefeated Wanneroo side on a horrible stormy day at the old Perry Lakes Stadium.” 


From being coached by players to then playing alongside them years later, it was never a question whether he would continue to Colts with Associates. 

“I have fond memories of watching the senior grades run out in front of the newly built club house, the post-match stripping the grounds of pads and flags for the princely sum of a can of coke and pie.” 

“Watching First Grade win the '97 Premiership with a team where most of them had played Colts at Soaks was inspiring.” 

Graeme Watson 400 Caps

In 1999, Graeme captained Associates Colts, during which he established himself in the senior grades in the second and backrow capacity. 

“The Soaks Colts had an enviable record in the 90's. Unfortunately, I was the captain the only year we did not make finals and only the second not to win the Premiership for the whole decade!” 

After sabbaticals in Canada and the UK, Graeme returned to Associates in the mid-2000s, where he successfully captained the Second-Grade team to Premiership and won numerous awards on and off the field for the club. 

Now a stalwart of Associates, Graeme continues to play in Third and Fourth Grade, and currently stands on 230 contributed points. Fortunately, according to his club, “... his tally of penalties and yellow cards is not able to be found, which some argue is also somewhat of a record for the club.” 

“Where does one start with Graeme?” Martinick joked. 

“Having run on the field many times over the years with him I know his game style very well. If we had a dollar for every time he's been penalised for 'hands in the ruck,' we could probably fund the new clubhouse!” 

“More seriously, Graeme has been a genuine contributor to both the bar revenues and club spirit. He's taught us all that you can play hard, play fair, and still have a laugh—even if it's from the sin bin.” 


For Graeme, the club and the family it has fostered is a huge part of his life. 

“Playing in the Senior Grades over the last 25 years has been fantastic, from Premiership winning seasons to not so successful ones. Through it all the Soaks family has always been there,” he said. 

“The guys I have played with over the years are a special bunch. We have seen girlfriends come and go, we have seen girlfriends become wives and families grow to also become part of the Soaks family.” 

“Enjoying each other's company on and off the field has been the key reason why I have kept playing. We made our way up through the grades together and have now made our way down.” 

Graeme Watson 400 Caps

A beloved member of the club, Graeme’s achievement isn’t going unnoticed. 

“For me, playing 400 games for a club is exactly what playing rugby to me should be about. The actual game of rugby is only part of the fun, it’s the friends and community which make up the rest,” Martinick said.  

“I hope Graeme’s journey from a junior player to a club legend demonstrates to all our players - both junior and senior - what the game played in heaven is truly about.” 


“I have never really thought too much about the milestone, but when I see my name on a list next to Soaks legends such as Dick Trend, David Hurst and Denny Bennett, it feels special,” Graeme shared. 

“I've enjoyed my years at Soaks immensely and look forward to many more to come both as a player and a supporter of the Club.” 

RugbyWA wishes to congratulate Graeme on this massive milestone and wish him all the best for his 400th Cap!