The NSW Junior Gold Cup (JGC) sides will have a direct link to their relevant Buildcorp National Rugby Championship (NRC) teams in a zonal restructure that will see the JGC sides build stronger ties with the NRC clubs.
NSW Rugby has restructured the JGC zones around the four NSW based NRC clubs to create a direct correlation for Junior Rugby in the Pathway to Gold with teams to wear the same jerseys as their relevant side.
NSW Rugby Development Manager, Matt Evrard was excited about the development: “We’re very excited to announce that in NSW we have created a link between our six Junior Gold Cup playing districts and our NRC clubs.
“We have two Greater Sydney Rams teams, two NSW Country Eagles teams, one North Harbour Rays team and one Sydney Stars team competing in this year’s national competition.
“With the JGC going out until the end of March it really extends the season for those NRC clubs.”
ARU General Manager Pathways and Performance Ben Whitaker said it was good for Australian Rugby’s pathway: “The clearer link NSW Rugby has made with their JGC centres and the NRC teams is only going to strengthen the talent pathway in NSW and ultimately the national Pathway to Gold.
“Participating players will be able to experience a genuine link with their Buildcorp NRC teams further strengthening the connection of fans to the growing NRC competition.
“It will also provide a clear stepping stone on the path to the NSW Waratahs and potentially the Wallabies.”
With the third season of the JGC set to commence in February 2016, teams around the country are continuing to trial to finalise their squads.
The NSW sides have seen in a boost in numbers in their trials already in 2015 and Evrard is happy with the NSW talent: “Trials have gone very well. We have been very excited about the amount of numbers we have had to our trials this year, right across the board.
“From the country regions, to the Illawarra, we have had record numbers trialling for the 15s age group, to Sydney where we have really big numbers up over 200 trialling for the 15s.
“We had 160 kids trial on the weekend for two teams in Sydney. The competition is really strong and the quality of player seems to be getting better and better every year.
“I’m sure the kids will be pretty excited on first game day when they get that shirt presented to them and they get to see they are wearing the same jersey as their favourite players from the Stars, Rays, Eagles or Rams.
“It’s very exciting times.”
2015-2016 NSW JGC Centres:
Northern Province (NSW Country Eagles)
Far North Coast
Mid North Coast
Western Province (NSW Country Eagles)
Eastern Province (Sydney Stars)
Southern Province (Greater Sydney Rams)
South West Sydney
Metropolitan West (Greater Sydney Rams)
Metropolitan East (North Harbour Rays)