The Junior Gold Cup (JGC), now in its second year, underpins the Pathway to Gold – the ARU’s national talent development program. The JGC exists to support the long term development of potentially talented players in the U15-17 year age groups through an accessible and nationally coordinated and consistent development and competition program delivered across Australia. The program also recognises and supports the representative pathways and opportunities provided by junior club and schools rugby.
The JGC sees 24 centres (48 teams) teams from around Australia including Sydney, Brisbane, Victoria, Western Australia, ACT, Regional Queensland and Regional NSW train and compete over the two age groups from November to March with 126 matches played across 7 weeks in February and March) – the program culminating in a national U15 and U17 grand final each year. The program involves over 1200 players through to the competition phase of the JGC after a trials period in October/November that involves over 3000 players nationwide. Program developments are underway to provide opportunities to other areas of Australia.
Whilst the program targets player development, it also seeks to provide important quality exposure and development opportunities to over 200 coaches and match officials nationwide. The program is managed and coached by quality local staff who undergo training and professional development provided by the ARU and State Unions.
It is envisaged that many of our Super Rugby, Wallaby and Sevens players, coaches and match officials of the future will have benefitted from the national level exposure and development provided by the JGC.
Rugby HQ's Andrew Swain looks at the Junior Gold Cup in 2015.
Ipswich Rangers RUC
Sydney North Harbour
Forshaw Park, Sylvania
Sydney South Harbour
15s Ballymore 17s Suncorp
TG Milner, Eastwood
Vikings Rugby Park Wollongong
Sydney North West
Newcastle No 2, Smith St, Newcastle