The Rogues Rant

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

Congratulations to Shoalhaven Rugby Club, celebrating their 50th Anniversary over this June long weekend. A very busy weekend coming up for the Shoalies faithful starting with an informal get together at the Rugby Club from 6.00PM on Friday night. Beer, Wine and Woodfired Pizza are on the menu and there is sure to be plenty of tall tales of the legendary past shared by all. The Shoalies Round 9 match up with Campbelltown has been brought forward a week to form part of the celebrations with all matches to be played half an hour earlier than usual on Saturday with 1st Grade kicking off at 2.30PM. Shoalies dropped out of the top four last week after losing to competition leaders Avondale, while the Quinnies found some form going down narrowly to University. I’ll tip Shoalies to get a win this week and stay in touch with the top four. A sold out formal dinner will be held on Saturday night with over 300 people to attend at Bomaderry Bowling Club including some very special guests. Favorite sons Al Kanaar and Will Miller will be there along with the legendary Andrew Walker. Unfortunately Australian Sevens star Tom Connor will be an apology. A recovery Brunch will be held from 11.00AM Sunday at the ground with some physical on ground activities planned for anyone who may still be fit enough to participate after such a hectic few days. Congratulations to all our friends at Shoalhaven Rugby Club, have a good weekend.

Once again I have to ask the question, just where Australian Rugby is heading? This week it was announced that NSW will only have two teams participating in this year’s NRC tournament. The Sydney Rays and the Country Eagles are the only two teams left from the original four sides that first competed in the competitions inaugural year in 2014. This is a national tournament aimed at giving players the opportunity to take a step up into a higher level of competition designed to fill the gap between club and Super Rugby. To only have two teams coming out of an area of over six million people is ridiculous. This decision is a perfect example as to why Australia is not producing the standard of player required for International Rugby. Instead of creating more opportunity for more players to grow and develop the powers that be are more interested in creating stronger individual teams to chase short term success and bring trophies back to Sydney.

The State Junior Championships are on this weekend at venues all over the State. Illawarra teams will be in action at all venues with the Under 12 age group being hosted by Camden Rugby Club. It will be a big couple of weeks of hard work for everyone at the Rams with the club also hosting the Country Cockatoos opening match of the year against the Brumbies Provincial side next Sunday 17th June. Good luck to all our Junior Illawarrior sides for this very prestigious weekend of Rugby.

Three interesting debutants for the Wallabies this week and a very sharp inform backline to take on the Irish in Brisbane on Saturday night. The Irish who are coming off their championship northern hemisphere season will be very keen to emulate the English side’s success in Australia last winter. Wallaby coach Michael Cheika has gone for Reds players Brandon Paenga-Aamosa at hooker and Caleb Timu at No.8 to make their Test debuts with the former New Zealand based Pete Samu getting a spot on the bench. It’s an interesting mix of experience and youth and will make for an interesting opening match in the three Test series. Australia to win.

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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