The Tumut Bulls are looking to level the playing field and lure across potential code-hoppers in preparation for the 2020 Southern Inland Rugby Union competition.
The Tumut side is struggling for numbers at training at this pivitol stage of the preseason and as a result, the Bulls are offering free registration to players aged between 17-21, giving younger athletes a chance to try rugby union and get a feel for the club without the financial outlay.
Additionally, the Bulls will be promoting a handful of Tumut Bullants to their senior ranks in 2020 and this is another way to thank those juniors for their loyalty.
Bulls coach Jonathon Hulks has backed the club’s decision, suggesting it had a variety of benefits and should see registration numbers increase.
“I’m 100 in support of it; this is the first season in four or five years that we are getting juniors making their way up from the Bullants and it helps keep them involved,” he said.
“It is also another way to try and get younger players who are thinking of playing union or swapping codes to get involved.”
Hulks used one primary example of how this decision could lure more players to the Bulls.
“Look at someone like Tate O’Donovan; he started playing rugby two years ago and he was quite the rugby league enthusiast before that,” he said.
“He told his dad he preferred rugby, so if we get more instances of that, it will only benefit us.”
The Bulls skipper also acknowledged the older age of the current Bulls lineup and hopes it gets more youth into first, second, third grade and the women’s team.
“We know our list is a little older and we need to start getting that progression of younger players through to seniors,” he said.
Bulls president and first grader Jon Carmody highlighted the current plight on player numbers and suggested the move could only benefit the Bulls in the long run.
“We need to start attracting new players,” he said.
We’ve probably lost about 15-20 players across all grades (and) numbers so far haven’t been great.
“So deciding on free rego for the younger group would help build the younger generation for the club.”
For anyone interested in getting involved with the Bulls and taking up this unique offer, they are encouraged to visit the Tumut Bulls Rugby Facebook page.
Alternatively, training is Tuesdays at the McMahon Method at 7pm and Thursdays at Jarrah Oval, at 6.30pm.