Less players for the two Junior Gold Cup sides in South Australia won’t be an excuse for the teams as they begin preparation for the 2016 Junior Gold Cup.
Competing with the Super Rugby states has its challenges according to South Australian Rugby Union (SARU) Pathways Coordinator Jason Hyam, but it’s one the players from Adelaide are relishing.
“For us the big challenge is that we don’t have the numbers that the other states do, with everyone else having Super Rugby sides,” Hyam said to ARU Media.
“It’s a bit complicated for us to generate the numbers and the size of the players as well.
“We have to work hard with the numbers that we have. I know the other states have hundreds of players coming to trials, we had 94 for both age groups.
“We’re focusing on taking a leap out of the Brumbies book when they started Super Rugby. We just have to train harder; so we’ve put a few programs in place, to grow our boys and make them more physically competitive.
With passion in his voice and the hint of a South African accent describing the training program, Hyam comes to the Pathways role with a fresh pair of eyes.
“I have been in the pathways role for six months now. It’s all new to me down here and I’m getting my teeth into things a bit.
“For us we don’t have a lot of kids outside of our club environments so breaking down the club land barriers is important for us to start with. It is nice to take the boys away for a few days and it’ll be great to have some tours.
With the challenge of taking on players with more Rugby playing experience, the South Australian sides have focused on hitting the gym to build themselves physically for the challenges ahead.
“The boys have really good, they have been very positive about it (training) and very excited about it. In fact they are asking for more so it’s been very positive from that point of view.
“At the moment it’s really a team effort. The guys are really working together for that common goal and working arm in arm.
“This year we are having a pre tour against the Rebels in Melbourne. We’re going to take our two squads and throw the ball around so that’s exciting. That’s before the JGC kicks off just to get our boys together and settle them down.
“A lot of them haven’t played at this level before so it’s important to introduce them to it before we travel to take on the ACT at home.
With South Australia more known for its Australian Rules Football stars rather than Wallabies, Hyam has hope that he is looking at the makings of one right now.
“We have some talented boys with some good turn and good pace.
“We’ve got to nurture them and grow them physically to be up to up to the task of the guys from the other states. I think there are a few guys in there.
“I know Liam Gill was a local South Australian as a youngster before he moved so we do use him as carrot with our guys.
“Here’s hoping there are a few quality young boys in there so the future is only as far away as they can reach.”