WITH the majority of Hunter and Port Stephens senior community sporting organisations putting the kibosh on their 2020 seasons, some junior competitions are getting closer to restarting.
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The Hunter Junior Rugby Union (HJRU) has set Saturday, 25 July as the official restart for their 2020 competition with an expected start to training announced in the coming weeks.
For Port Stephens it means that the Nelson Bay Junior Rugby Union (NBJRU) and Medowie and Districts Rugby Union (MDRU) will be fielding teams up to and including under 18s this year.
While there are still many health and safety protocols to meet before the first on-field whistle for rugby in the region, Kellie Vincent from the NBJRU is optimistic that it’ll be all systems go come July.
“The NBJRU committee met this week and are committed to supporting HJRU with plans for a return to play under guidelines from Port Stephens Council, NSW Junior Rugby and Sports Australia in July,” said Mrs Vincent.
“There will be extra requirements to comply with such as increased hygiene, recording of all officials and players, no access to change rooms and no canteen.”
Mrs Vincent admits it’ll be a very different and difficult junior rugby season this year due to COVID-19.
“It will be challenging requiring increased volunteers especially with no revenue or sponsorship coming in,” she added.
“It looks to be an eight round comp, two semis and a grand final for each age division.
“Training is unlikely to resume until level three restrictions come into place around the first of July.”
Local junior rugby league is also set to restart come July with the NSW Rugby League (NSWRL) working towards a mid-month restart.
NSWRL CEO David Trodden said that the NSWRL is working with the NSW Government on commencing junior competitions from 18 July.
Contact your local club for more details.
By Mitch LEES