SUMMER RUGBY KICKS OFF ON FRIDAY
A total of 24 teams have entered the Newcastle and Hunter Rugby Union (NHRU) and the Hunter Junior Rugby Union (HJRU) Women’s and Girls Summer 7s competitions which kick off this Friday evening (22 Feb).
President of NHRU, Bill Clifton, said the seven-week competition would be played every Friday evening for both Women and Girls with finals scheduled in early April.
“We are happy to see six teams enter the Women’s competition while seven teams have entered both the U/17s and U/15s, and four in the U/13 competition,” said Bill.
The women will play at Waratah No.5 Ground on Friday with matches starting at 6pm. The three girl’s divisions will play at Ernie Calland Fields, also from 6pm.
HJRU President, Julien Castaldi, said it would be the second year of the Girls Summer competition following strong interest from young female players wanting to join the rugby code.
“We started a fledgling 7s competition in Spring 2017 and it has grown rapidly since then in providing an opportunity for girls aged Under 13s to Under 17 to play the faster version of the game,” explained Julien.
The Summer competitions will see the following teams take the field on Friday:
Women:Easts, Hamilton, Maitland, Merewether Carlton, Nelson Bay and The Waratahs
Under 17s:Easts, Hamilton, Maitland, Merewether Carlton, Nelson Bay, Singleton and The Waratahs
Under 15s:Easts, Hamilton, Maitland, Merewether Carlton, Nelson Bay, Singleton and The Waratahs
Under 13s:Hamilton, Maitland, Merewether Carlton, and Singleton
Julien said the Girls Summer 7s will be a prelude to an exciting new girls competition being introduced in May.
“HJRU is opening a new pathway for young female players with the introduction of an innovative 10-a-side competition on Saturday, 18 May,” said Julien.
“The new competition will be for girls in the Under 13, Under 15 and Under 17 age groups and is exciting news for local rugby clubs as it will give young girls interested in playing rugby union an added opportunity to show their talents on the field.”
“Under existing competition rules, girls up to the age of 12 years can play mixed gender rugby but there has been little pathway to continue their development and great enthusiasm for the code in later years.”
The 10-a-side player format will continue for 11 rounds before Grand Finals in each age group.
Julien said local clubs had been pressing for such a competition because of the increasing interest of young girls in playing rugby.
“The 10-a-side format (instead of 15 players per team) is designed to allow clubs to concentrate on building their player strength and allow clubs to engage with a smaller team group while introducing girls to the code.”
Information about the junior rugby competitions are available from local clubs or by contacting the Secretary of HJRU on firstname.lastname@example.org
Media inquiries should be directed to:
Women’s Competition: Bill Clifton on 0417 493 100
Girl’s Competition: Julien Castaldi or Nicole Joannou on 4023 4557