Update from SJRU

I hope everyone out there is coping ok with this continuing lockdown. The extension of the lockdown to Friday 27th August was not unexpected by most I am sure, but still came as a further blow when the official news was handed down. Please find attached the latest NSWRU Covid-19 summary.

Rugby Update

I wanted to provide an update on planning for the re-start of Rugby, so our Rugby community can understand the key scenarios that are under active consideration. I note as always that SJRU will follow the Health and Rugby Governing Body requirements, but subject to that, we will do all we reasonably can to get boys and girls playing rugby.

There are plenty of uncertainties including:

– Exactly when the lockdown will end.
– Any continuing restrictions to travel, activities and gathering, which might be part of the roadmap out of lockdown.
– What other hoops Community Sport may need to jump through to get their activities re-started and to do so safely in accordance with the then prevailing health orders.

We are also in active discussions with other winter sports, summer sports and various councils about extending the winter season, to give us access to council fields into early October.

Given all that, the high-level summary of our scenario to re-start is:

Friday and Sunday XVs Comps

– Retain the current Comp configuration
– Target (subject to everything above) potential re-commencement on Fri 11th Sept and Sun 13th Sept for Friday and Sunday XVs respectively
– Play for 5 weeks ending in a form of play-offs/finals
– Home and away games would be scheduled for 4 weeks at Clubs subject to field availability (noting the discussions around season extension referred to above)

Frosty 7s & Spring 7s (Girls)

– Combine these two comps into a Wave 1 and Wave 2 of Spring 7s
– We will re-confirm with the Frostys clubs, that their teams will be intact to participate in Wave 1 of Spring 7s as per team EOIs sent to Tina
– Target starting Wave 1 (subject to everything above) on Sat 12th Sept
– Wave 1 runs for 6 weeks (with finals in week 6 on Sat 17th Oct)
– Wave 2 starts immediately (Sat 24th Oct) and runs for another 6 weeks to 28th Nov.

Spring 7’s (Boys)

– Start in conjunction with Wave 2 of Spring 7s for Girls on Sun 25th Oct
– Run for 6 weeks ending on Sun 29th Nov

I am sure I don’t need to remind everyone of the risk/uncertainty around planning for Community Sport in this environment. A lot must go right over the next 4-6 weeks for the re-start of XVs Rugby to happen and for Wave 1 of Girls Springs 7s to commence as planned. Further delays in exiting lockdown beyond the currently scheduled end date of Fri 27th Aug, will clearly impact on being able to play any sport on the weekend of 11th/12th/13th Sept.

Spring 7s

We expect very substantial interest in the Spring 7s Comps, and ideally will have sufficient critical mass to run as many age groups as possible. To this end, please be on the look-out for the Spring 7’s EOI’s coming out in the next couple of weeks.

The comp fee structure for Spring 7s (particularly for boys who are already registered for XVs) is being reviewed and we will aim to make this as cost effective as possible.

Club Webinar

Sport is important to us all of course, but this COVID situation is throwing up challenges and issues for the population which are more critical and far reaching. I am sure this is being heard among the communication channels of your clubs and all through Community Sport.

With NSW Rugby, we are putting together a presentation to be delivered via Zoom webinar during the next week or so, which will hopefully provide a very useful resource for Rugby participants to assist them outside Rugby – given the tough situation many people find themselves because of COVID and this sustained lockdown. It will also include some materials which we hope will help with Rugby as well.

This webinar will be in the first instance be offered to the SJRU volunteer participants. We will also ensure that the presentation is made available to all our registered participants, so they can access the resources and links included.

Given engagement and social contact isn’t easy now, the more we can encourage people to stay in contact with each other, and to reach out if assistance is needed, then that will be to everyone’s benefit. The Community, be it Rugby or otherwise, must do its best to look after each other.

Take care of each other out there and all the best