Bill Watson (15)
I like the thinking here Black and White but I'll offer some thoughts on why most of those options are unlikely (sorry to rain on your parade!):Hello Waves
St.Gregory's College at Campbelltown. In the past, a traditional Rugby league school, but with increasing gentrification, it is now a bastion of aspirational Middle Class existence. In fact, its evaluation to a Middle Class status, places it in terms of outlook, values and Socio-Economic aspirations, very comfortably to mix with CAS and GPS Schools. It might still have Rugby League roots, in the Campbelltown area.But such a heritage, is now wearing thin, particularly amongst the Middle Class Families that now frequent this school. I believe they have 1200 Boys so depth will not be a problem. Because of its Rugby League connections, talented players should not be in short supply either.
Hopefully, parents, staff and the school's leadership will see where their true future lies. By embracing the one true sporting faith for Winter, that is Rugby Union. By purging, the dark side, from their school's past. They will see the "Light" and celebrate by singing the "World in Union". Such an exoticism is long overdue for St.Gregory's College.
Other schools could include Canberra Grammar, a very gentrified, professional Middle Class Environment. Yes a bit of travel, but no different than Queensland GPS, where travel is extensive. They don't have many Rugby Teams within the School, about three per age division. But that compares favourably with most CAS Schools, these days. Also, Marist College and St.Edmunds could come into consideration as well.
Other schools in the mix, could include St.Edwards at Gosford, they have 900 Boys, but also need a Rugby Union exoticism, as do Marcellan College, at Randwick. They and Waves, could become rivals, fighting out Catholic Rugby supremacy for the Eastern Suburbs. In time we may see Central Coast Grammar, expand in Numbers, together with Hunter Valley Grammar School Grammar as well as The Illawara Grammar School. Nor should we rule out Pittwater House, Kinross, The Cathedral School at Town Hall, TAS or even Oakhill Jumping Ship. So while some of these schools will need to grow in school numbers, they are located in Growth Areas such, as the Central Coast. Most already have Rugby, as a Winter Sport, be it small in numbers.
But does the CAS want to expand and travel.
St. Gregs - still has strong League ties and doesn't offer strength or numbers in other sports. I think only recently became a full member of ISA
St. Edwards - Independent school but no history of Saturday sport. That would be a MASSIVE cultural hurdle to overcome
Marcellin - diocesan school = low fees = no money to spent on Saturday sport (which also doesn't exist)
CCGS - Very small school. Co-ed but only one grade per age in Rugby. Not a like for like comparison in terms of team numbers each week
HVGS/TIGS - Not a bad suggestion but again, no Saturday sport culture
Pittwater House - not the school they once were in terms of sports participation and a significantly changed demographic at the school
SACS - Not a bad suggestion but again, not huge numbers across any sport
TAS - again not a bad suggestion but I dont see any GPS school handing back their membership badge (maybe High but it wouldnt be at their behest)
The Canberra Schools - now here is a good suggestion and there is definitely a feeling in Canberra that this would be a good thing. If GPS can schlep it up to Armidale (6 hours) and the ISA head over the hills to Orange (3-4) then Canberra isnt such a bad idea. All CAS schools have easy access to the M5 or M7 so we're talking a 3 hour trip. The only issue is the tight numbers that exits in Canberra. Removing even one school upsets the delicate balance of participating schools.
So for mine, the only reasonable options for expansion exist in the ISA and as previously mentioned, they may be perfectly happy with the set up they currently have.