By Lawrence Machado
Dural Rugby Club, which has helped produce Australian and international stars, are ready to unveil the next generation of rugby union players, being a feeder club for top Shute Shield side, Eastwood.
Numbers at this 25-year-old club, are rising in both girls and boys teams, with president Tristan Prosser-Shaw welcoming new members for the 2022 season.
This year’s crop has plenty to inspire them, with former players, including crack Wallaby prop Benn Robinson and Australian, Olympic and Commonwealth sevens stars Tim Anstee and Lachlan Anderson.
Impressive hooker Nic Dolly, who started his junior rugby at DRC, now plays for England and Leicester Tigers, having caught the eye of club and English selectors while visiting his grandparents in Britain five years ago.
Another Dural junior who is making his mark in representative rugby is Joshua Anderson, who plays for Eastwood in the Shute Shield.
DRC kicked off their pre-season with an open day on January 21 at the Bernie Mullane Sports Complex in Kellyville, with pre-season to begin on February 16 and 17 and February 23 and 24 at the same grounds. Training returns to Dural Park from March 1, with the Sydney Junior Rugby competition commencing on March 26 and 27.
Prosser-Shaw joined the club when his son wanted to play, and now both his daughters are a part of the growing cadre of rising ruggerites in the Hills.
“I joined initially because of my son playing in the U6s,” he said. “Now, due to the evolution of the club and the introduction of girls pathways, my two girls are also involved, and the pathways and opportunities will continue to grow for girls and boys within the progressive framework that Dural Rugby Club has and continues to develop.”
Prosser-Shaw said Covid-19 has meant many changes for the club.
“As with all community sports clubs, the last couple of years has been a very challenging time to recruit and retain players given the disjointed seasons and lack of game time due to Covid,” Prosser-Shaw said. “However, due to the efforts of our dedicated committee and a wonderful Dural rugby club community, our numbers continue to go up, and we hope this trend carries on into the 2022 season:
“Numbers have gone up from 261 two years ago to 324 last season, and we have two girls teams who play in the SJRU Rugby 7s, with four of our girls selected into the Western Sydney Academy of Sports rugby program.
“This year they will be playing in the U15’s and Open competitions. However, we are looking at increasing our girls’ program and would like to field teams in the U13 and U11 ages as well.
“We will be fielding seven to eight teams in the 6-9 age groups (minis), and 13 to 14 teams in the 10-17 age groups (juniors), depending on registrations.
“All our enthusiastic coaches are parents who have passed a Smart Rugby course as a minimum, and we have coaches who have previously played professionally in Australia and overseas.”
Registrations can be done via the Ruby Xplorer app and www.duralrugbyclub.com.au. Check out their Facebook and Instagram pages for promotional campaigns.