The gap between junior and senior rugby in the Southern Inland Rugby Union (SIRU) competition will be a thing of the past in 2022 with competition organisers planning to run an under 18s competition.
In previous years, juniors could only play rugby union until under 16s in the SIRU junior competition, but then would be left in limbo for a year before being eligible to player lower grade senior rugby from 17 onwards.
In a statement released on Wednesday, SIRU revealed the plan for a competition that would create a better ‘pathway’ for junior players to the local senior competition.
“SIRU is looking forward to bringing an under 18s boy’s competition in 2022 (and) players will need to register with their junior club for the upcoming season,” the SIRU statement read.
“This competition will help build a better pathway from the junior competition, which currently finishes at under 16s, (through) to the senior competition.”
SIRU hopes to run the under 18s competition alongside the senior draw on a Saturday, with players from right across the zone invited to participate, regardless of their club fielding or not fielding a side in the under 18s competition.
“SIRU is working with both the senior and junior clubs to implement a plan for matches to be played on Saturdays alongside the senior competition, if possible,” the SIRU statement read.
“SIRU is hoping matches will be played in the traditional 15-a-side format and is aiming for four-plus teams across the junior zone to be involved.”
Players and parents interested in the SIRU under 18s competition are encouraged to reach out to the Tumut Bullants Facebook page to find out when training will begin.