This Saturday, following our trial against the NSW Under 20s, SUFC will be hitting the road to the country to play the Victorian Under 20s, as well as a Southern Inland Rugby side, at the picturesque Connolly Rugby Complex in Wagga Wagga.

SUFC are passionate about growing the game in the country, with the full club playing out in Bowral in Round 2 last year – but with two SUFC ‘countrymen’ leading the team this Saturday, Tim Davidson as coach and Tom Carter as Captain, the game at Wagga this weekend is another excellent way to promote the game outside the city. 

Tim Davidson was a former Young Yabbie and member of the Southern Inland Rugby Club, and Tom Carter grew up and played rugby with him in Young too. Both are very keen to be able to give back to their roots, and are excited that this will be one of the first games of the big season ahead. 

“It’s a strong vision of Tim and I to give back to the game and help grow it in regional NSW. SUFC have a united vision from the Executive Board right through to the players to give back to the community, and when given the opportunity to play in Wagga Wagga we thought it was a very important thing to do” said Carter. 

“It is hoped that by playing more games out there, that we can inspire future generations to pursue their dreams and rugby goals like Tim and I did.”

On top of the excitement of playing back in the country, Carter is equally as excited to show just how far the club has come during the gruelling pre-season period. 

“We haven’t achieved the success that we would have liked over the last two years at SUFC in 1st Grade, but we have worked extremely hard in the pre-season, primarily around our technical aspects of the game, our physical conditioning, and everyday behaviours” explained Carter.

“We are under no illusions that this may amount to nothing if we do not perform on the field, but I think through the strategic leadership and coaching expertise of Tim Davidson, Rob Taylor, Garrick Cowley and Ben Roberts, if we continue to work hard on these fundamentals of the game, and are accountable as how we prepare as players, then 2016 looks to be great season for all members and supporters – and this Saturday is the start.”

Young players who debuted for the Sydney Stars in last years’ NRC, including Christian Kagiassis, Christian Yassmin and Sam Barclay have all had outstanding pre-seasons and should get their first opportunity this weekend in their positions to push for prospective 1st Grade spots for Round 1 in 2016. Same goes for former Australian Under 20s backrower, Jack McCalman, who will be looking to impress.

“There are no guarantees in the game of rugby, but many of our young players have done a great job in mastering their own personal preparation and in putting their best foot forward for selection in the 2016 season and are playing their best rugby. It is a really exciting time for them and for the whole club” said Carter.  

Kick-off is 2pm, with SUFC to play Victorian Under 20s in four 20 minutes periods, followed by two 20 minute periods against Southern Inland Rugby. 

If you are around the Wagga Wagga area, please pop down to support the boys – otherwise make sure you follow the game on Twitter (@sufc1863).