Organisation is well underway for the largest primary-age rugby carnival in Australia, to be held at The Armidale School (TAS) on 18-19 April.
After months of watering and fertiliser, eight ovals are being clipped for the final time and marked ahead of 105 games which will be played over the two days of the TAS Rugby Carnival by 42 school and club teams from as far as Dalby, the Sunshine Coast, to the Southern Highlands and Orange in NSW.
School teams include well-known Sydney and Brisbane Rugby nurseries, while clubs participating come predominantly from the north including Tamworth, Moree and Inverell and Alstonville on the North Coast.
Bond Pirates from Miami on the Gold Coast, Redfield College from Dural NSW and Lismore City JRUC will be first timers at this year’s carnival, which is expected to bring 850 young players and their families to Armidale.
“When the first carnival was held in 2005 with 18 teams, few of us could have imagined how large it would become. The carnival has always been about young people having fun, experiencing rugby and meeting people in a carnival atmosphere,” Director of Co-curricular at The Armidale School Will Caldwell said.
“Junior boy and girl rugby enthusiasts and their supporters come together in a spirit of goodwill and camaraderie, to share in all that is good about rugby and develop relationships both within and across teams.”
ARU CEO Bill Pulver, who was special guest last year, described the event as “a magnificent carnival that showcases everything good about our game”. TAS has a partnership with the ARU to deliver the Junior Gold Cup Development Program in northern NSW.
Australian Rugby Union General Manager, Pathways and Performance, Ben Whitaker will watch proceedings on the final day of competition.
Teams playing at the TAS Rugby Carnival 2015:
Ambrose Treacy College
Dalby Wheatmen (JRU)
Matthew Flinders Anglican College
Pacific Lutheran College
St Aloysius College
St Andrews Anglican College
St Ignatius College, Riverview
St Laurences College
St Mary's Armidale
St Patrick’s College, Strathfield
St Pius X College, Chatswood
Sunshine Coast Grammar
The Armidale School
The Kings School
The Scots College
The Southport School
Toowoomba Anglican College
Trinity / BDC Grammar School
Trinity Grammar School
Waverley College 1