The Rogues Rant

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

After 2 years of research by Rugby Australia in conjunction with Sydney Junior Rugby Union, Brumbies Rugby, and the Australian Catholic University, Rugby Australia has announced the introduction in 2018 of a radical new set of Weight for Age guidelines for Junior Rugby. Under the heading of Rugby Australia Size for Age Guidelines, the aim is to properly assess junior players with a view to being able to move players across age groups. Players deemed to be below or above an accepted height and weight range will be assessed for physical and personal development factors including height, weight, playing experience, fitness and maturity. Once assessed they will be able to be moved between their true age group, one age group below, or up to two age groups above their true age group. The study found that weight alone was not a strong enough factor in moving a player between age groups. From season 2018 qualified independent coaches will be appointed to conduct the assessments before players will be allowed to change age groups. This is a great move and long overdue and I’m sure will be very much supported by the majority of people involved in Junior Rugby right across the country.

All attention now to the Morgans Kiama 7’s this Saturday at Kiama Showground. Teams are coming from all over for what is now very much a stepping stone for aspiring Sevens players. Teams are coming from Sydney, Canberra, Victoria, the Illawarra of course and from Temora, Newcastle, Molong, Jidabyne, Albury, Orange and Grenfell. A total of 60 pool games will get underway from 8.30 for a full day mof entertaining 7’s Rugby. The Womens Final will be at 5.15 with the Plate to be decided at 5.40. The Cleary Bros Cup Final for 2018 will kick off at 6.00PM. As usual it will be a big day in more ways than one.

The IDRU Draw has been finalized and can be viewed in full in the Senior Rugby section of the Website. Round 1 is on Saturday 7th April, the first of three Rounds before a week’s break for the Country Championships in Warren on the 28th/29th April. First up Campbelltown play Shoahaven at Campbelltown, Kiama at home to Camden, Tech Waratahs play Bowral at Saunders Oval, Uni are at home to Premiers Avondale, while last year’s runners up Vikings are away to Shamrocks. It won’t be long, we’ll be into it before you know it.

Some other dates to remember for Illawarra Rugby. March 17th – Illawarriors V Southern Districts Trials at Campbelltown. March 25th IDRU Season Launch at the Master Builders Club commencing at 3.00PM.

Super Rugby is away in earnest this week after the South African Conference got things started last week. The Stormers had a close 28 – 20 win over The Jaguares, while the Lions just got away with a win over the Sharks by 26 – 19. A very interesting contest between The Rebels and the Reds gets the Aussie Conference away on Friday night while the Brumbies travel to Japan to face the unknown quantity of the Sunwolves on Saturday afternoon. The Waratahs start their campaign at home against the Stormers at 7.45 on Saturday night. After watching the Kiwi sides at the Brisbane 10’s a few weeks back, are we going to see a repeat of the Kiwi dominance of the last couple of seasons? There has been plenty of talk coming from the Aussie camps over the last few weeks. It’s now crunch time. My tips for this week: Highlanders, Rebels, Brumbies, Crusaders, Waratahs, Lions, Hurricanes. The Sharks have the Bye.

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

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