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NSW JRU State Championships & Representative Teams 2015

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Hugh Jarse

Rocky Elsom (76)
Staff member
http://www.nswjuniors.rugbynet.com.au/default.asp

The NSW JRU Web site announces that the June long weekend of 6/7/8th June sees the NSWJRU State Championships commence for the age groups Under 11s to Under 17s.

This years NSWJRU State Championships also incorporate the Country Junior Championships for the U15s, U16s and U17s.


Venues for 2015:

U10 28 June only Location to be announced (not on the web site but deduced from within the Competition manual)

U11 6/7th June only Blackman Park, Lane Cove

U12 6/7/8th June Camden Rugby Park, Camden

U13 6/7/8th June Drummoyne Ovals, Drummoyne

U14 6/7/8th June Endeavour Park, Orange

U15 6/7/8th June Glen Willow Sporting Complex, Mudgee

U16 and U17 6/7/8th June St Lukes Fields, Concord

So the NSW State Championships will be going ahead on the June Long Weekend, regardless of the recent cancellation of the National Under 16 Championships, and the second iteration of the Junior Gold Cup for Under 15's and Under 17's.

The 2015 NSWJRU JSC Competition rules state in part:
3. PLAYER QUALIFICATION
(A) A player is qualified to compete in the JSC if:
(i) He / she has played, in 2015, at least four (4) club competition matches for a Sydney club or country town, within the Sydney District / Country Zone he / she is seeking to play for (Under 10 to Under 16).
(ii) In the Under 17 age group, he has played at least 4 club competition matches in 2014 or 2015 for a junior club or country town within the Sydney District /Country Zone he is seeking to play for.

The Grandfather Clause/Rort. The eligibility criteria for participation at the 2013 NSW Junior State Championships that allowed Under 16 players who were not actively playing junior village club rugby in the current year to participate in the State Championships, and consequently be selected to represent Sydney JRU or NSW Country JRU age group teams was removed for 2014 JSC, and that remains in effect for 2015. This loophole still exists for Under 17’s.

At the rather hotly contested Under 16 level, there was much consternation last year regarding how, and the manner in which, some players, and teams, managed to qualify for JSC rep teams. There was also additional criteria imposed on this selected for regional and SJRU representative squads, and once again there was a fair bit of chatter about cynical manipulation of the eligibility criteria. Despite the traction of the ARU Junior Gold Cup programme for U15 and U17 levels, and the demise of the National U16 tournament, I predict that there will still be a fair bit of discussion on U16 eligibility at individual and team level.

Under 18’s
There will be a SJRU administered Saturday Under 18 competition run in conjunction with the SRU Colts programme. It is believed that there will be approximately 8 District teams involved, and that the competition will run until the June Long Weekend with a Finals series being run in conjunction with the JSC. Unsure whether any NSW Country Zone U18 teams may be invited to participate. Probably not.

Under 17's
It is understood that only 7 Sydney Junior Village clubs have registered to play in the Sunday Open Grade competition. Buddha doesn’t have any detail up yet as to where these clubs come from. Assuming that all players in the SJRU comp qualify as U17 players, and that no district has more than one team, there will be a maximum of 7 SJRU teams at State Champs. The Grandfather clause applies for Under 17’s, so a district may be able to cobble together a U17 rep team provided that the individuals played at least 4 SJRU Competition came in 2014.

As a contrast, there were only 5 SJRU District teams and 2 Country Zone Teams at the 2014 U17's.

Under 16's
This brings us to my favourite age group the Under 16's. Boy, has this been fun in the past and even without the prospect of 2 bites at the Selection Cherry for Club and School teams at the now discontinued National Champs, there was still fun and games over selection into the respective teams that participated in the inaugural NSW Invitational U16 tournament that was played out over the October Long Weekend in 2014. Once again, the worst aspects of the Mr and Mrs Aus-Sports parents and vainglory seeking Coaches, Managers, Administrators and Officials come to the fore at some stage of the JSC, the Regional tournament, Sydney Juniors vs Country Juniors, and the Invitational itself.

Many of these folk will be fresh out of the 2014/2015 Under 15 JGC programme and notwithstanding the negatives on the sidelines and back rooms, the rugby in this age group is generally of an extremely high standard in this age group. Many of the players have been in the 1st XV or 16A's at their school, and plenty of the more skilled dual coders keeping their options open for both codes have been here to play some footy. Most of these have been at State Champs since Under 10's and it is often the last Junior State Champs for them before they disappear into School footy or SG Ball Loig.

It is a fairly safe bet to assume that the 2015/16 U17 JCG Selectors/Scouts will be present, so there will still be an incentive to showcase talent, provided they are registered with a Village Club. The players will be keen to stay on the Clipboards radar screens because many of them will not re-enter consideration for JGC until the end of 2016 when they would be under consideration for the 2016/2017 U17 JGC programme. Despite all public statements to the contrary, Clipboards from Schools will also be lurking on the sidelines of the U15 and U16 games, as will many Mungo and Shute Shield Clipboard wielders who will keeping an eye out on the cattle market.

Under 15's
The Interstate teams in the U15's will be chock full of confidence on the back of their pre-season development courtesy of the JGC programme, as will many of the Country Zone teams. The SJRU Districts will need to bring their A game to the Champs if they want their name on the silverware. Fresh out of the JGC, many of the kids (and parents) will be keen to do well at these champs to remain on the talent scouts radar screen. They will not be in JGC programme again until the end of 2016 when this cohort will become front and centre for 2016/2017 JGC U17.

Rep trials are probably under way or will soon be underway in many districts, although most of the U15 JGC boys will have already been pencilled in by the District Selectors.

Good to see these games being held in the Country (Mudgee) for the first time that I can remember for this age group. Pack the thermals.

Under 14's
Sticking to the tried and true, the U14's caravan is up for another trip away to Orange. Take the winter woollies. For many it will be their first time away from home on a rugby tour. They should come away from this with some great memories of the fun that you can have on a sporting tour with your mates.

Under 13's and below will just be a maelstrom of activity with kids, footy balls going everywhere, and lots of happy laughter. Memo to parents, coaches, managers and administrators in these age group, FFS do not ruin it for the kids with your involvement. In these age groups, Rugby is for fun. Chill out, talk to some of the other parents who have travelled. Be nice to people. Let kids be kids and enjoy some carefree time in the sunshine, and fresh air.

Country Junior Championships for U15, U16 and U17.
It is interesting that the JSC will also incorporate the NSW Country Junior Championships for U15, U16 and U17’s. This may be the first time this has happened as I’m pretty sure that the Country Championships have been held separately in the past, with many of the Country JRU kids attending the JSC already confident of their place in the Country Representative squad for their age group. Country parents may possibly be happy that there is one less weekend of rugby travel, and it may result in more Country Zones attending JSC. In 2014 U15’s there were 4 Zone teams (Illawarra, Hunter, Central Coast and Central West). The 2014 U16’s only had Illawarra, Central Coast, and Hunter teams at JSC. Only Illawarra and Central Coast participated in the 2014 Under 17 JSC. If that is maintained this year, while there will be some savings for parents and the Country JRU in not having to run a separate Country Junior Championship for these age groups, there would be a fairly small gene pool for the Country Selectors to choose their representative teams from.

Are the NSW JRU JSC still relevant?

On a rather crowded and somewhat confused pathway, there are some who believe that there is a need to revise the timing of this tournament, remove some of the age groups to better mesh in with JCG, or even scrap the JSC altogether. Without the JSC, there would be very little for the NSW JRU to do apart from acting as a lobby group for the Junior Rugby players of NSW. Some would say that they act more as a lobby group for their own continued existence, relevance and power, and promotion and protection of their offspring and players from their affiliated Village Club/District. Like any group, there are some good and rotten eggs involved but by and large, their heart appears to be in the right place, and the majority of the junior rugby players love trying out for and playing in the annual Junior State Championships.
 

Chris McCracken

Jim Clark (26)
Country Junior Championships for U15, U16 and U17.
It is interesting that the JSC will also incorporate the NSW Country Junior Championships for U15, U16 and U17’s. This may be the first time this has happened as I’m pretty sure that the Country Championships have been held separately in the past, with many of the Country JRU kids attending the JSC already confident of their place in the Country Representative squad for their age group. Country parents may possibly be happy that there is one less weekend of rugby travel, and it may result in more Country Zones attending JSC. In 2014 U15’s there were 4 Zone teams (Illawarra, Hunter, Central Coast and Central West). The 2014 U16’s only had Illawarra, Central Coast, and Hunter teams at JSC. Only Illawarra and Central Coast participated in the 2014 Under 17 JSC. If that is maintained this year, while there will be some savings for parents and the Country JRU in not having to run a separate Country Junior Championship for these age groups, there would be a fairly small gene pool for the Country Selectors to choose their representative teams from.

True, that's a great thing for country parents to reduce travel. The country champs were previously held on a separate weekend and travel and costs were tough to manage. This sorts that out.

I think there will be much greater buy-in from the country teams this year. In our zone last year, the 17s didn't attend because they simply didn't feel that they could play up to the standard of the competition with a few players unavailable and an unflattering finish in the Country champs. The 16s went to Country Schools on the same weekend as it was the last Country Schools tournament. Other lower age teams had a similar issue to the 17s.

Having spoken with some of the organisers, the Country/Sydney championships early on provide a better seeding arrangement. That way, a half-decent team from the country doesn't travel 400km to be put in a State Champs pool where they are flogged in three games by much better teams.

That will be a boon for country teams and hopefully the tournament will be a feather in the cap of both SJRU and CJRU committees.
 

Thomo77

Frank Nicholson (4)
HJ,

One of the things we can see livening things up in the U15s is the potential participation of a bunch of lads that didn't play in the JGC program - either through injury, Harold Matts or other commitments. Will be very interesting to see what impact they have and think it's great that they still get an opportunity to showcase their talent.
 

Quick Hands

David Wilson (68)
Are the NSW JRU JSC still relevant?

On a rather crowded and somewhat confused pathway, there are some who believe that there is a need to revise the timing of this tournament, remove some of the age groups to better mesh in with JCG, or even scrap the JSC altogether. Without the JSC, there would be very little for the NSW JRU to do apart from acting as a lobby group for the Junior Rugby players of NSW. Some would say that they act more as a lobby group for their own continued existence, relevance and power, and promotion and protection of their offspring and players from their affiliated Village Club/District. Like any group, there are some good and rotten eggs involved but by and large, their heart appears to be in the right place, and the majority of the junior rugby players love trying out for and playing in the annual Junior State Championships.

Not in June they're not. It should be played at the end of the village season with the village season being the selection process. This also makes the eligibility criteria much simpler - same as for semi-finals (or what semis used to be) Must play 50% of games in the season including 3 out of the last 5.

The JSC would then act as a JGC trial process.

I like the idea that 11s has moved to a 2 day format like the 10s.
 

Hugh Jarse

Rocky Elsom (76)
Staff member
Only a couple of weeks until the Long Weekend.

How are the team selections and trials going?

What Districts or Zones won't be turning up, particularly in the upper age groups?

Which age groups will have Inter-State teams entered?
 

Chris McCracken

Jim Clark (26)
Not sure what's happening in the State Champs, but here is the draw for the U17 Country Champs. I assume all of these teams will be part of the State comp.
 

Attachments

  • Champs Draw 2015.pdf
    635.7 KB · Views: 492

Hugh Jarse

Rocky Elsom (76)
Staff member
^^^ That seems to suggest that Central Coast, Central North, Central West, Hunter, and Far North Coast Country Zones will not be playing any Metro teams in the Under 17's.

No Illawarra, Mid North Coast, New England, or are they playing in pools with the Metro teams?
 

Chris McCracken

Jim Clark (26)
Mid North and New England have been either absent or irregular in this age group since 13s. I honestly hadn't noticed Illawarra being missing.

I believe the plan is for the Country champs to run as a seeding process on the Saturday and Sunday before joining the metro teams later on Sunday and potentially Monday.

Though that's not the official word, obviously.
 

Hugh Jarse

Rocky Elsom (76)
Staff member
Wondering if they will follow that same philosophy of "separate but together" for the younger age groups, where the Country Zone teams are likely to be more numerous.
 

Gary Owen III

Syd Malcolm (24)
In the U15, U16 and U17 age groups this years State Championships will be combined with the Country Championships and the (new) Sydney Metropolitan Championships.

On the Saturday the teams will play the pool games of the Country and Metro Champs. The Sunday morning/lunchtime will see the semis and Final of these respective Champs. Then the top (x) number of teams from both will progress to the State Championship (Cup/Plate). The remaining teams will move to the Bowl/Shield part of the State Champs. With pool games on the Sunday arvo / Mon morning and finals in the afternoon of the Monday.

Meaning all teams attending will play ALL three days and their last few games will be against teams of roughly equal strength. So hopefully everyone goes home feeling like they had a good experience with plenty of games.

This should reduce the costs (particularly for the Country folk) of having to attend two separate events.

Venues are Mudgee for the U15's and Concord for the U16 & U17's. Finals are played at the host venue. So the U15's will not be travelling back to Sydney for the finals.
 

Hugh Jarse

Rocky Elsom (76)
Staff member
Thanks for explaining the new format @Gary Owen III.

It seems to make a degree of sense, and Monday was always a bit flat for those teams who had travelled some distance, and were beaten from pillar to post in their pool games by better prepared squads. Now kids get a go at challenging themselves against players/teams more of their own level at the culmination of the weekend.

Do you know if there are any ACT or Victorian teams attending this year? Would they play as guest teams in the Sydney Metro Championships?

I like the idea of more championship events being held outside Sydney.
 

Gary Owen III

Syd Malcolm (24)
Thanks for explaining the new format @Gary Owen III.

It seems to make a degree of sense, and Monday was always a bit flat for those teams who had travelled some distance, and were beaten from pillar to post in their pool games by better prepared squads. Now kids get a go at challenging themselves against players/teams more of their own level at the culmination of the weekend.

Do you know if there are any ACT or Victorian teams attending this year? Would they play as guest teams in the Sydney Metro Championships?

I like the idea of more championship events being held outside Sydney.


The visiting teams such as ACT and Melb/Vic will be invited guests into the Metro Champs. Whilst Southern Inland will be invited guest into the Country Champs.

ACT have again entered in the U12, U13, U14 & U16 (but not U15's or U17's as they are JGC age groups).

Melb are entering in the U13's only at this stage

Southern Inland have nominated in the U13, U14 and U15's.

As for venues we now have Camden (12's). Orange (14's) and Mudgee (15's) all hosting State Champs this year.
 

Chris McCracken

Jim Clark (26)
With the combining of Country and State Champs in the older ages, it is easy to forget, but it's worth a mention that the U12,13 and 14 Country Champs are on this weekend.

I don't think it has enough bearing for a thread of its own, but team performances might give a barometer for the State Champs and the U14 Country selections could be interesting for the future.
 

Hugh Jarse

Rocky Elsom (76)
Staff member
Any idea of the date and location for the Sydney Juniors vs NSW Country JRU games, and any NSW JRU rep games - dates, locations and opposition.

Usually the NSW JRU U15, U16 and U17 play a game against ACTJRU equivalents, with an occasional BJRU or Qld JRU game as well.

Is the NSW Invitational U16 on again for the October Long Weekend?
 

Chris McCracken

Jim Clark (26)
This is from an old email calling for coaching staff. I'm not sure whether anything has been added/changed since February.

Key Dates
June 6-8th - NSWJRU State Championships
June 28th – NSWJRU U10’s Gala Day
July 11-12th – SJRU Regionals
July 12th – Sydney vs Country (U17’s & U18’s)
July 19th – Sydney U18’s & U17’s vs Bishop Stortford (UK) 1st and 2nd XV
July 24th – Sydney U17’s vs Wellingborough (UK) 1st XV
Aug 2nd - Sydney vs Country (U14’s & U16’s)
Aug 2nd – Sydney vs Leeds Grammar (UK) U16’s-U18’s
Sep 19-20th – NSW U16’s Invitational
 

Hugh Jarse

Rocky Elsom (76)
Staff member
Thanks for that info @Chris McCracken.

No Sydney v Country in Under 15's on 2 August or should the ampersand read "to" ? ie (U14's to U16's)

August 2 has Sydney U16 playing Country and Leeds Grammar (UK).

Good to see the Sydney Juniors rep teams getting a few games.

Are there any games for NSW Junior RU representative teams, or NSW Country Junior Cockatoo teams apart from the Sydney game?
 

Chris McCracken

Jim Clark (26)
Actually, found this calendar, as well. Says it is 14-16s, plus, you might glean other info from it.
 

Attachments

  • 2015 Event Calendar SJRU-NSWJRU.pdf
    74.6 KB · Views: 338

Hugh Jarse

Rocky Elsom (76)
Staff member
^^^ Thanks for that file @Chris McCracken.

I'd just like to see a bit of tweaking to the Junior Club representative programme (the pathway) to align it so that it works in a little bit better with the Junior Gold Cup Programme.
 

Chris McCracken

Jim Clark (26)
Unsure of most of the results for the weekend country champs in the younger age groups, but I know Central West won the 14s.

We'll see if they can carry that form into State champs.
 
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