After extensive consultation, Sydney Rugby Union (SRU) has today notified the Penrith Rugby Union Club that they are no longer eligible to compete in the Sydney Premiership competition, effective immediately.

The decision to remove the Penrith Club was made by the SRU Board following the Club’s inability to meet the minimum standards required to compete at the Premiership level.
SRU Chairman, David Begg, said the unfortunate decision to remove the Penrith Club from the competition was after exhaustive process over many months.

“The Sydney Rugby Union Board has taken comprehensive steps to provide every available opportunity for Penrith Rugby Union Club to remain in the Sydney Premiership competition,” he said.

“However, the Club’s inability to meet the standards set for all Clubs to compete at the Premiership level has resulted in them being withdrawn from the competition.

“The long standing issues around governance, safety and wellbeing of players, financial viability, qualified coaching and support personnel has forced the Board to withdraw the Club.

“We are working closely with New South Wales Rugby Union (NSWRU) to support the individual players impacted by this, to ensure they have other avenues available to them to remain in rugby.

“The SRU Board are eager to work with NSWRU to ensure that the greater Western Sydney area can continue to grow rugby and have the opportunity to be part of the Sydney Premiership level competition in the future,” he said.

New South Wales Rugby Union CEO, Andrew Hore, said the organisation supports the SRU’s decision to remove the Club from the competition.

“The SRU Board has worked hard over many years to provide every opportunity for the Penrith Club to remain in the competition,” he said.

“While we are disappointed for the Club and players, we support the SRU’s decision on this matter given the issues that have been raised around governance, safety of players and financial viability and more.

“We understand players will be impacted by this announcement and we will offer support to all players eager to stay involved in rugby.

“The greater Western Sydney area is of importance for NSWRU and we have already commenced work to look at strategic partnerships and strategies that will allow us to grow rugby in the area. The Western Sydney action plan that will look at reinvigorating schools competition, providing additional support to clubs, additional human resources for the region and much more.

“A series of reforms NSWRU is in the process of implementing at will also benefit the Western Sydney. This includes two development officers dedicated to Western Sydney in addition to a dedicated schools coordinators who will work with public and private schools. These personnel will be further supported under the new governance structure with the ‘Metro Council’ that will focus on participation, people development and infrastructure,” said Hore.

Rugby Australia is across the situation and will be working with NSWRU to identify solutions for rugby in Western Sydney.

From this weekend, the Shute Shield will be contested among the remaining 11 Clubs.

All games already played will be recorded as a 28-nil result with 5 points awarded, those with matches still to come will have a bye round and a 28-nil result with 5 points awarded.