A NEW U18 COMPETITION
The U18s Representative Pathway for club rugby players has changed quite considerably and for the first time offers a genuine pathway from club all the way to the Australian U18 Team.
Players who attend Public, Catholic or Independent High Schools that don’t offer a weekly rugby competition will no longer be disadvantaged.
Warringah Rugby Club have committed to fielding an U18s side in 2019 and in 2020 it will be compulsory for all Shute Shield Clubs to field an U18s team.
U18 Club Rugby Representative Pathway is as follows:
Club > District (State Champs) > Sydney > NSWJRU > NSW Gen Blue Academy > Australian U18
U18 Colts competition will be played on a Saturday and will run for one single round with everyone playing each other once before a finals series to be held late June.
The SJRU will also offer the Sunday Opens (U18) competition again in 2019 which will follow the dates of the Sydney Juniors club competition to start in April.
Players in both these competitions as well as any players that are U18 competing in the NSW Suburban Rugby competition will be eligible to trial for the Sydney U18 team (trial dates TBC April/May).
The Sydney U18 team will play games against NSW Country U18s & NSW CHS (Jun 15/16th). Following these games a NSWJRU team will be selected to play AAGPS (Jun 27th) and then possibly onto a tour game against the Western Force Academy team (Jul 6th).
Players that miss the initial Sydney squad are still eligible for selection higher (into a NSWJRU team or Gen Blue Academy) via the U18 NSWJRU State Championships on the June long weekend, which the NSWJRU and NSW Gen Blue selectors will be attending. A number of players were selected via this route this year.
All players at each of these games will be eligible for selection into the NSW Gen Blue Academy side. The NSW Gen Blue Academy side is open for selection to any U18 rugby players either in the schools or club network.
From here the NSW Gen Blue Academy side will run a number of high performance training camps and games against other state Academies where an Australian U18 side will be chosen to play NZ and tour the UK.
Any players that are playing both club and schools rugby may be eligible for selection in either pathway. And this is often accentuated due to the different timing of team selections.
As such the policy around any players selected in a NSW Country or Sydney U18s team AND also in a schools representative team is that they should immediately upon selection choose which pathway they wish to pursue and withdraw from the other. This will avoid any clashes of programs which potentially require a player to be in two places at once and will open a spot for another player to gain representative selection.
If you have any questions or want to play for the Rats U18s side come down to Rat Park on Tuesday or Thursday from 6:00pm, send us a message or email us on email@example.com
Image: Karen Watson