MUDGEE Rugby Club has been named the host of the 2014 NSW Country senior rugby championships.
Considered the front runners for the gig, the announcement was made officially on Friday and Mudgee Rugby president Greg Bartrim informed the club and its players at the Wombats’ presentation later that night.
It’s a big honour for Mudgee Rugby to host NSW Country’s premier event on March 29 and 30.
“It is a very big coup for us,” Bartrim said.
Next year will be a massive year for the club.
Not only will they host the senior rugby championships, the Wombats will step up to Central West Rugby Union’s top tier competition, the Blowes Clothing Cup, and the Mudgee Grassroots Rugby Festival returns.
Bartrim said the Grassroots Festival, stepping up to Blowes and hosting the NSW under 12s, 13s and 18s rugby championships in 2012 aided the cause.
“All that sort of work has paved the way for the [senior] country champs,” he said.
“The Grassroots has attracted people like Robbie Deans and that has sort of opened up Mudgee to a lot of new people.
“We want to continue building more relationships and hopefully attract more rugby events in the future.”
Last month, Mid-Western Regional Council agreed to donate $10,000 to Mudgee Rugby Club to support its tender for the championships.
Bartrim was grateful for Council’s assistance as it was vital to Mudgee’s cause.
As many as nine zones that make up NSW Country Rugby Union, including Central West, will bring their senior and colts (under 20s) teams to the tournament, plus their support staff and fans.
Bartrim estimates 3000 people to arrive in town for the two-day tournament.
“Many will arrive on Friday and stay Friday night,” he said.
“Depending on who makes the finals, they could stay on Sunday night too.”