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Days of non-stop rain cleared in time for a perfect weekend of rugby weather at The Armidale’s School’s Under 12 Rugby Carnival.
The Carnival attracted 45 teams from Queensland and many of the Sydney and regional area school teams, who travelled to New England for the two-day tournament.
A total of 114 games of rugby were played over the weekend, with teams competing in different divisions, based on their ability.
Two Sydney club teams competed in the first division grand final with Southern Districts defeating Gordon Highlanders 28-17, but it was the Moree Junior Bulls who took out the most prestigious award, the TAS Rugby Carnival Award, for sportsmanship on and off the field.
In other results, St Ignatius’ College Riverview Blue defeated Cranbrook School in the third division final while The King’s School defeated Central Coast Grammar School in Division 4 while the Gordon Tartans took out Division 5 defeating Scone Grammar School.
Former Wallaby and Waratah player Warwick Waugh was a special guest at the Carnival and spoke to the players about how important the Carnival of rugby is.
“I’m sure there are a few future Wallabies here today and I want you to remember that tournaments such as this, grassroots rugby, is what it is all about, and you also have to enjoy everything the game brings you,” Waugh said.
He urged participants to develop passion and pride in the sport.
“There’s no more important time to have grassroots rugby opportunities such as this.”
Current Waratah Matt Sandell also spoke to the junior players about the pathways available for them to go on and play higher level rugby and what’s best about rugby.
“This annual event is a showcase of what is best about rugby especially at junior level and it was just great to watch,” Sandell said.
Carnival convenor and Director of Co-curricular Will Caldwell said it was a great weekend of rugby for the players and everyone who was involved.
“It’s been an amazing weekend for rugby and been very exciting for us to be able to bring together so many people from near and far to come together and celebrate what is best about the sport,” Caldwell said.
“Warwick and Matt really inspired the players with their reflections and it was a privilege to be part of such an event.”