The best elite junior Rugby players from NSW and Queensland that competed in the Junior Gold Cup in 2015 will battle it out for state pride at Ballymore this Saturday 4 April. The Under 15’s and Under 17’s interstate challenge provides an opportunity for Junior Gold Cup players in NSW and Queensland to represent their state, after representing their various regions.
In an Australian Rugby first the two representative teams across the Under 15’s and Under 17’s will have a further opportunity to be exposed to high level representative competition at the spiritual home of Queensland Rugby, Ballymore.
The representative games are a key part of NSW’s and Queensland’s talent identification and development program and the ARU’s Pathway to Gold program.
ARU General Manager, Pathways and Performance, Ben Whitaker was proud of the development opportunities these matches will provide.
“These interstate challenge matches provide another high level of exposure for our youth players in a representative context.
“Having played very well against their peers, the players selected represent the best Junior Gold Cup players from these two states.
“For the Pathway to Gold it is important that we are constantly looking at new means to expand the development opportunities in our youth talent pathway and these two fixtures following on from the successful Junior Gold Cup is an excellent way to do that."
NSW Generation Blue Pathway Coordinator, Tim Rapp said the teams are looking forward to the match.
“The coaches have picked the best performing players from across the state during the Junior Gold Cup and the guys are really looking forward to the experience of playing their Queensland counterparts at Ballymore.
“Our coaches are also from the Junior Gold Cup competition, which has provided them with the opportunity to coach at a higher standard and enjoy the opportunities provided by the national talent pathway.
“The teams have gelled really well and it will provide another platform for these players to enhance their ability.
“From a NSW point of view it also gives another opportunity to view these players and aid their development through the pathway.”
The Junior Gold Cup is the first step in the ARU’s Pathway to Gold program which is designed to create the next generation of Qantas Wallabies, Super Rugby players and Sevens stars.
In 2015 1200 junior players participated in the competition that saw Western Australia and the ACT claim the Under 15’s Championship and Under 17’s Championships respectively.
Junior Gold Cup Interstate Challenge representative fixtures:
12:45, Saturday 4 April, NSW Under 15’s v Queensland Under 15’s
2:15, Saturday 4 April, NSW Under 17’s v Queensland Under 17’s