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.

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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.

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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:

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