The Rogues Rant #283

August 23rd 2021

Welcome to The Rogues Rant, an occasional look at all things Rugby.

By Ron Wood

With the Covid Pandemic going crazy causing all sorts of dramas for the world, Rugby has not avoided the confusion. With the decision of New Zealand Rugby to not allow the All Blacks to travel to Perth, the future of the Rugby Championships is now very much up in the air. All sorts of suggestions are being thrown around as to where the tournament should be played. Suggestions have been put forward to play in South Africa, in Australia or New Zealand and even a mention of playing the tournament in the UK later in the year. From what we have seen so far they may as well just let the Springboks and The All Blacks play off for the trophy as the Wallabies and Pumas don’t appear to be in the same class.

NSW Rugby made the only call possible recently putting an end to season 2021in the Greater Sydney region in line with current NSW Health Covid restrictions. It was an inevitable call that puts an end to the 2021 Shute Shield and all other Community Rugby competitions in the Greater Sydney region.

Along with this announcement came a call from the SRU regarding the future participation agreements for the Shute Shield going forward. Penrith have been advised that they will no longer have a place in the Shute Shield competition and are expected to work with NSW Rugby and the Western Sydney Two Blues to develop a stronger Rugby development program for Western Sydney. The Hunter Wildfires have retained their spot in the Shute Shield with a number of dispensations applying to both the Wildfires and the Western Sydney Two Blues to enable both regions an opportunity to further develop the game in their districts. After reading the SRU Press Release regarding the future of the Shute Shield I am just as convinced as ever that NSW Rugby and the Rugby Australia needs to step in and completely restructure the competition formats in NSW to better reflect the population base of NSW. Otherwise Rugby in NSW will continue its downward spiral until it no longer holds any real significance in the sporting landscape.

The Dexter Porter Blood Cup is coming to a conclusion with just a week to go. At the latest count on the 23rd July the usual suspects were again leading the way. Shamrocks were topping the tally with 34 donations ahead of Vikings on 28. Tech Waratahs had 11, Wollongong University had 5 with Kiama and Camden 1 each. So if you want to escape home for few minutes get down to the Red Cross and make a donation before August 31.

All opinions offered in this column are the opinion of the author. They should not be considered to represent the views of the IDRU.