NSW Rugby Union (NSWRU) has worked closely with both the NSW Juniors and NSW Schools to deliver a number of changes for the U18 pathway for the 2020 season.
The collaborative process between the three parties has resulted in a pathway that gives U18 players from clubs and schools across New South Wales the opportunity to progress to higher levels.
It further reinforces NSWRU’s commitment to developing young talent as one of the country’s premier rugby nurseries.
NSW Rugby Talent Identification Manager, Andrew Cleverley said that the changes to the system would deliver positive outcomes for prospective players.
“We’re really happy with the changes [to the pathway] and it really continues our ethos of providing opportunities in every corner of the state,” Cleverley said.
“Both NSW Juniors and NSW Schools have been brilliant throughout this process, it’s been a collaboration in every sense of the word and the outcome will only benefit our next generation of Waratah.
“The [U18] program is an integral part of our development pathway leading directly to professional opportunities and I’m looking forward to the talent we can unearth in 2020.”
An overview of the new U18 selection process:
Trials will be conducted between School Associations, Sydney Juniors and NSW Country.
These trials will culminate in an final open trial day with the various associations at NSWRU in which teams will be selected as follows:
- 2 NSW Gen Blue teams from any trial participants.
- 2 NSWSRU teams from students attending schools only.
- 1 NSW Juniors team from any trial participant.
NSW School students, who have multiple team pathways, need to discuss with their associations which teams and what options that they are available to be selected in to trial
The NSW Gen Blue teams will play games against other State Academy teams in Brisbane in early-July and again in September. The Australian Schools and RA U18 side and the “A” side will be selected to play Fiji and NZ Schools in October.
The NSW Schools teams and the NSW Junior team will compete in the Australian Schools Championships to be held at St Ignatius College between the 4 to 9 July. A team to play Tonga will be selected from these Championships and they will represent the Australian Schools Association.