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Boronia Park was the stage for another round of schoolboy rugby trials, with players vying for their spots in the NSW Junior Rugby Union U18s (NSWJRU) representative side.
NSW Country U18s came up against GPS White while Sydney U18s took on GPS Blue. The Country Cockatoos U18s, who recently played in 2018 Gen Blue selection trials against Sydney East and West, made quick work of GPS White to run away with the game 33-5.
Made up of players from Parramatta, Penrith, West Harbour, Gordon, Randwick, Warringah and Southern Districts, the Sydney U18s did not have the same fate as their rural counterparts as they went down to GPS Blue, 26-38.
NSW Gen Blue Head Coach Pat McCutcheon kept a watchful eye on the action from the sidelines in Hunters Hill.
“The quality of rugby was very good and was played at a high level of intensity,” said McCutcheon.
“I was really impressed by the NSW Country U18s performance, and is a true testament to the strength of the country pathway.”
Different to the NSW School’s side made up of the various private and public school sporting associations, NSWJRU representative teams are made up of country-based players and Sydney club players who are on separate pathway to higher representative honours. These players’ next step of progression in the selection process is into the NSW Waratahs’ Gen Blue program.
McCutcheon broke down the selection and progression process into simple terms.
“Players in the NSWJRU system are on a different pathway to the NSW Schools system,” said McCutcheon. “Where one draws upon players within the school system and progress them along that way towards national schoolboy selections, the other draws upon players who are in the Sydney junior club and country junior systems.
“The two pathways both come to a head when it comes to selection into the Gen Blue program.”
The NSWJRU will have their first game together on Sunday, June 25th when they take on Victoria at Melbourne’s Trinity Grammar, with their next fixture taking place in mid-July against Gen Blue U19s.
The NSWJRU U18s side is yet to be announced.