CSU close to fielding women’s rugby team next season

PROMOTING THE NEW SEASON: Nick Plunkett, Meaghan Kempson, Lochie Robinson, Claudia McLaren and Lincoln Homrody-Scott.
PROMOTING THE NEW SEASON: Nick Plunkett, Meaghan Kempson, Lochie Robinson, Claudia McLaren and Lincoln Homrody-Scott.

CSU Mitchell Rugby Club is one step closer to fielding a women’s team in 2018.

Central West Rugby Union is planning on further developing the women’s game in the area and has aspirations of a 15-a-side competition in the next few years. 

The Bathurst university is determined to be a part of that.

This Saturday there will be a sevens tournament in the Blue Mountains, The McGrath Blue Mountains and Greater West Rugby Sevens Carnival, and CSU will be entering both a men’s team and a women’s team.

The women’s team consists of 13 local Bathurst university students who are willing to give the contact sport a go for the first time. 

The girls were apart of a league tag team last year but are very interested in making the move to rugby.

Lincoln Sterling has been an integral part in putting the team together, which could prove to be integral to women’s rugby in the Central West. 

“A lot of the girls approached me throughout the 2017 season and told me they were not getting what they wanted out of league and with what the Central West are looking to next year I thought this what great opportunity to put together a women’s team,” CSU vice president Sterling said. 

“We’ve been trying to put together a girls side for the past couple of years, but unfortunately we have not been able to confirm the girls regular games, so it is hard to get girls to commit and pay registration for only a couple of games throughout the year,” CSU President Josh Buttenshaw added.

One of the new CSU Darcy Bonett is part of the move across from league tag.

With the club heading towards having the numbers to field a regular side next year, Bonett is excited to give rugby a go.

“I played league tag last year because it was a weekly competition. Though, if rugby had more regular games I would have definitely played it,” she said. 

“I am really excited to give rugby a go on Saturday, it is something I have always been interested in, but never had the opportunity to do.

“I really hope to get the opportunity to learn the game and play it regularly next year.”

The final piece of the puzzle still needs to be filled.

“We are still looking for a coach for girls team in the 2018 season, but it is very promising to have a group of girls who seem committed,” CSU club captain Nick Plunkett said. 

Despite not having the numbers to field a regular 15-a-side squad CSU has always been interested in providing women with the opportunity to play rugby.

This year they hosted a women’s sevens tournament of their own, Battle of the Central West.

The 2017 CWRU competition featured teams from the Bathurst Bulldogs, Cowra Eagles, Mudgee Wombats, Orange Emus and Orange City.