Fast flowing rugby on the menu
The 2019 Waratah Sports Club Invitational Rugby 10s looks like being the biggest event yet, according to organiser and Orange City Rugby Club Old Boy Fletcher Niven, who says there has been an unprecedented amount of interest from Women’s, Men’s Open and Colts teams.
“In past years we've tried to have a colts competition and sometimes we'll get two or three, but with the women's rugby on fire in the last two years we have had good interest and so at this stage it looks like we'll have six colts teams, six women’s teams and probably twelve men's open teams at least, which gives us an unbelievably full schedule — we can't really handle any more,” said Fletcher.
He said teams from Sydney, Wollongong, Quirindi, Leeton and all throughout the Central West have expressed interest in attending, which will be no small boost to the local economy.
“There's a lot of out-of-towners coming,” Fletcher said. “We are going to have 24 teams here and at least twelve of them are going to be from out of town, staying the night, another six or eight of them are from just down the road, but still need to be fed and watered.”
While always the scene for some hard-fought rugby, this year’s Colts tournament should particularly see players turn up the intensity as Central West selectors will be watching closely from the sidelines to pick their Under 20s Country Championships squad.
The format for the tournament remains largely the same as previous years, although playing time has been reduced from ten to eight-minute halves.
“We'll have four individual rugby fields set up. As soon as the hooter goes they'll all kick off and play an eight minute half, two minute half time and then they'll play another eight minutes. So basically, every twenty minutes there’s a game of rugby being completed,” said Fletcher.
“It will be some pretty fast-flowing rugby you are only out there for eight minutes and it is unlimited subs. I expect a lot of tries and almost no kicking in the game. So, it will be lots of hard, fast rugby.”
All the action of the Invitational 10s will take place on Saturday 16 March 2019 at the Waratah Sports Club, who have come onboard as the major sponsor of the tournament.