The Rogues Rant

RoguesRantWelcome to The Rogues Rant, an occasional look at all things Rugby.

It was sad to hear of the passing of Ken Catchpole at the end of 2017. Catchpole was an extraordinary Rugby Player, rated by many as the best ever Australia has produced. The little Halfback made his First Grade debut for Randwick as a 19 year old in 1959. Later the same year after a handful of matches in the top grade, he played his first match for NSW against the touring British Lions which NSW won 18 – 14. The following season Catchpole Captained NSW for the first time against the All Blacks at 20 years of age. He made his first Wallaby appearance appointed as Captain at 21 years of age in 1961, playing Test Matches against Fiji, South Africa and France. He made 27 appearances for Australia, thirteen as Captain before a horrific injury ended his career in 1968 aged just 28. Catchpole had his Hamstring torn from the bone along with several Groin Muscles ruptured at the hands of All Black Colin Meads and never played Rugby again.      Rest in Peace Ken Catchpole.

The return to Australian Rugby for David Pocock will be delayed for a couple of months. Pocock has had surgery to repair a damaged Knee Cartilage which will delay his return for the Brumbies in this year’s Super Rugby campaign. It’s a problem that has been apparent for some time and after a stint with Japanese Club side Panasonic Wild Knights surgery was required to bring the knee up to strength for the years ahead for the former Wallaby Captain.

The rumor mill is turning over already this year with word suggesting that the Australian Schoolboys Tour to the UK deferred in 2017 is under threat once again for 2018 due to a lack of Rugby Australia funding. Let’s hope new CEO Raelene Castle can get this all important part of the development program back on track.

The IDRU Draw will be released very soon. An eighteen round program commencing April 7th with a Grand Final date of 15th September to be confirmed. The upcoming trial matches between Southern Districts and the Illawarriors squads will in fact be on March 17th at Campbelltown. Two grounds will be operation on the day with the Illawarriors opposed to Souths 1st Grade at 5.00PM on the main ground. At 3.30 Harlequins will play Souths 2nds, with Wollongong Uni to play Souths lower grades on the top ground at 2.15 and 100PM. On the bottom Field, Souths No.1 Colts will play the Illawarrior Colts at 3.30. after Souths No.2 side play Campbelltown 2nds at 2.15 and Wollondilly V Souths No.3 Colts at 1.00PM.

All opinions offered in this column are the opinion of the author. They should not be considered to represent the views of the IDRU.

Sevens Success for Illawarrians

illawarrarugbylogoSuccess in Rugby Sevens has been coming thick and fast over the last couple of months with several Illawarrians featuring for Australian Sevens sides.

It was a big weekend at the HSBC Sevens World Series event in Sydney last week with the Aussies taking out both the Mens and Womens Titles. Shoalhaven junior Tom Connor made his international Sevens debut for Australia in the Tournament with Emma Tonegato continuing her outstanding form in the Womens side. Late last year Illawarra Sports High School student Abby Holmes featured in the Australian Schools Womens Team in an International Tournament in New Zealand.

Tom Connor has enjoyed great success in his Rugby Career to date. The former Australian Schoolboy Representative also has a Shute Shield Premiership Medal in his possesion as a member of last year’s Premiership winning Warringah Rats side. Also featuring in the Sydney Rays NRC campaign last year, Tom made his Australian Sevens debut at the Sydney Sevens last week. He has retained his place in the Squad for this weeks Tournament in Hamilton, New Zealand.

Emma Tonegato continues to be a vital member of the Aussies Olympic Gold Medal winning team from Rio in 2016. Going into her fifth season representing Australia in the Sevens, Tonegato continues to impress scoring one of the tries of tournament last week against Spain.

2018 2 Abby HolmesAbby Holmes in action.

Plenty of good judges are predicting a big future for another local girl, Abby Holmes. A year 12 student at Illawarra Sports High School, Abby was a member of the Australian Schools side that performed very well in December in an International Tournament in New Zealand. The girls only dropped one match on their way to winning the Plate Final with a narrow 14 – 12 win over Samoa. Abby has also had a run with the Sydney Rays last year and is looking at turning out for Wollongong Uni in 2018.



Season 2018 On The Way

illawarrarugbylogoIt’s the end of January already with the 2018 Season fast approaching. The Macarthur International Tens will get things underway for Illawarra Rugby in just over three weeks time on Saturday 17th February at Camden Rugby Park.

A week later what is now one of the major events in Australian Rugby the Kiama Sevens is on as usual at Kiama Showground on the last Saturday in February. A full card of entries has been received for the Tournament which is now recognised a real stepping stone for players striving for higher Sevens representation with all the scouts heading down the coast for the big day.

Super Rugby starts also on the 17th February when the South African Conference kicks off. The Australian group are away from Round 2 a week later. There will be plenty of interest when The Rebels meet the Reds in Melbourne on Friday 23rd to get the Aussie group underway. The Sunwolves host the Brumbies in Tokyo on the afternoon of Saturday 24th, and later that night the Waratahs open their season at home in Sydney against the Stormers.

Read more: Season 2018 On The Way

Camden 10's on Again

Camden 10s

The Macarthur International Tens will return again in 2018. The Tournament will launch the 2018 season at Camden Rugby Park on Saturday 17th February. There will be $5,000.00 in Prizemoney up for grabs with entries strictly limited. Entries to Nominations close 9th February. Winners of the last two years, the Deadwood Timberwolves have indicated that they will be defending their title again this year.

Check details on Facebook @MacarthurInternational10s or on the web at

Phone Contact – Richard Old 0412 439715

New Structure for NSW Rugby Administration

Several years ago the decision was made to separate the administration of the NSW Waratahs from NSW Rugby with each organisation to run their own affairs. After some very lean times and a somewhat poor financial performance from both organisations the two bodies have been returned to one entity.

Under the leadership of the new Boss of NSW Rugby Andrew Hore, changes have been made. The NSW Rugby administration and the NSW Waratahs have moved into new headquarters at the UNSW David Phillips Sports Complex at Daceyville in southern Sydney. Plans are for the area to become a High Performance Hub for the Waratahs.

Recently Andrew Hore announced that a $12.00 state enforced player levy is to be introduced on all registered players in NSW for 2018. In the following article which originally appeared in Rugby News .com, Hore explained the new structure and the direction for NSW Rugby in 2018. The article follows in full:

Read more: New Structure for NSW Rugby Administration

The Rogues Rant

RoguesRantWelcome to The Rogues Rant, an occasional look at all things Rugby.

Who is Raelene Castle? She is the person with the task of leading Rugby Australia out of the Doldrums in 2018 and beyond. Castle recently announced as the new CEO of Rugby Australia, replacing the outgoing Bill Pulver, takes over in January 2018 with a huge task ahead. Castle is an Australian born New Zealander, born in Wagga Wagga in the 1960’s. Her father Bruce Castle was a Kiwi Rugby League representative who spent a couple years in Wagga Wagga as Captain/Coach of Turvey Park Rugby League Club. Castle’s mother Marlene is a four times Commonwealth Games Bowls representative for New Zealand, so sport has played a significant part in Raelene’s life. From a successful Commercial Marketing background Castle was the CEO of Netball New Zealand for six years before holding the top Job at the Canterbury Bulldogs. After four turbulent years as the Bulldogs CEO, Castle moves into the top Rugby job with plenty of work to do to resurrect the fortunes of Rugby at all levels. With her broad experiences in her past positions she is well placed to hit the ground running in the overall Australian sporting landscape. Let’s hope she can bring all aspects of the Australian game together for the sake of Rugby right across the country.

NSW Rugby and the Waratahs have moved into their new home at the UNSW David Phillips Sports Complex. The facility is to become a High Performance Hub for the NSW Waratahs with the Waratahs head office and training base re-locating from Allianz Stadium. The UNSW Logo will also become a part of the Waratahs playing strip in 2018 as the two organizations enter a partnership aimed at providing high performance facilities for the University and the wider community. The Waratahs will continue to play their Super Rugby home games at Allianz Stadium.

Read more: The Rogues Rant

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