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The New South Wales Suburban Rugby Union (NSWSRU) competition kicks off this weekend with 50 clubs participating in six Divisions, providing a game for over 5,000 players across the Sydney region.

“Subbies” as it’s affectionately known is the largest centrally administered rugby competition in the world and as an amateur competition, the real grassroots of rugby in Sydney.

The Executive Director of NSWSRU, Tim Richards says what’s so pleasing about this year is the growing number of Under 21 or colts teams that have entered the competition.

“Last year we had 19 Colts teams, but this year with Division Three clubs entering U21’s for the first time, and along with the Radford Cup competition for lower division colts, our total number has reached 30 teams,” Tim Richards said.

“After years of emphasising the importance of having young players involved with rugby, we’re now seeing numbers increasing and we’re hopeful we’ll have even more colts teams next year.

“We’re also seeing the new teams coming from different areas in Sydney with Hawkesbury Valley, Epping and Redfield all having colts teams this year.”

This year will also see the return of Division 5 with most clubs providing two teams for the competition which last existed in 2013.

“It’s been a long time since we’ve had teams competing in all six divisions, which shows that there is growing interest in playing rugby and Subbies is able to provide a game at different levels for all those who want to play,” Richards said.

With a new competition and a new year comes new technology, commissioned by Subbies, to help with scoring and team lists.

“We’re providing an app which lets supporters see scores at all games in real time and updates the competition ladder immediately at fulltime,” Tim Richards said.

“We’ve done away with all paper records with the scoring now done on a mobile phone which makes it easier and quicker to use and gives clubs all the information they need.

Premiership clubs are already using the app and have been very impressed how it all works and we know Subbies clubs will love it once they use it.”

The Subbies competition runs from April 22 with the First Division Grand Final wrapping up the competition being played on September 9.