General Manager's Update

3 months ago

Training is Back and Footy is On!

By this stage of the Shute Shield season, 9 rounds would have been decided (obviously following the narrative we are still undefeated…) and we would have had absolutely no trouble with our scheduled Round 10 fixture against the bye this weekend.

Yes, it’s a mirage, but at least its mildly amusing too me at a time, when it’s been to say the least, challenging to run a football club and come up with entertaining content for this newsletter without any footy on. Alas, the rugby cavalry is coming to the rescue!

What wasn’t a mirage was our long-awaited return to training last week at Latham Park for all our Grade and Colts lads. Plus, we also had approval for our Junior Clubs and Women’s teams to do likewise this week from our partners at Randwick City Council, who have been incredibly helpful and supportive to get us back training as quickly as possible.

There are very strict COVID-19 protocols and restrictions in place (9 per group, fitness and skills only with no contact) to enable us all to do so, but players, coaches, staff and GM’s were very happy just to be there and did what was needed to be done without complaint – well aside from the Arctic conditions and frost bite that greeted us on night 1.

Fortunately, sanity has prevailed with yesterday’s announcement from the NSW Sports Minister, that all adult community sport and full training was mow allowed to proceed from July 1 and not just for those aged Under 18.

Cutting to the chase, that means club rugby and The Wicksare back baby!

As a club we have done absolutely everything in our power to minimise the risk of COVID transmissions to our players, staff and broader community and will continue to do so. Now we just have to minimise the injury risk to our players, as they return to full training with such an interrupted preparation to the season. Just gotta love core footy stuff!

When we will play in 2020 you ask?


As alluded above, with the return to full contact training and adult sport from July 1, Randwick Rugby is back in business. However, to play actually footy we will need 4 weeks normal training prior to Round 1 - most likely starting on July 25 (TBC)

For Grade and Colts, the most likely outcome at this stage is a 12 round/3-week finals series competition format running through until the end of October – with no draft competition draws provided as yet. The woman’s approach is still to be decided by SRU, but is projected to start in early August.

At this point there is only Sydney Rugby Union board clearance for 1st & 2nd Grade and 1st Colts competitions to proceed. Now that there is a green-light to play, we are pushing hard with many other likeminded clubs to find a viable solution for 3rd & 4th Grade and 2nd & 3rd Grade colts to also play in 2020.

We are a community club and its community game, so finding a way to enable participation for all those wanting to play for us is part of our DNA. It may not well be in some other clubs, but that’s what we are aiming to do and are pushing hard for that outcome.

Whether we are able to play with crowds or in a locked empty venue is also still not clear, but it is looking increasingly more promising we will at some point.

If Peter V’Landy’s can have NRL crowds back on August 1, then a sedate gathering of under 2,000 placid rugby types (well if the ref sees it the green way we do…) at Coogee Oval should be a cake walk to argue the toss over! The lobbying begins!

If not, we are planning to broadcast all our games via live streaming on our website and social platforms to ensure no-one misses a minute of action. We are also optimistic of receiving a more equitable share of the Shute Shield TV coverage this season.

So, there is much happening every day and we will continue to keep you updated on our Facebook page and our website as any season news come to hand.

Super Rugby AU Returns July 3.
It was also confirmed yesterday by Rugby Australia, that Super Rugby will also re-commence on July 3 as a 5 team Australian franchise competition only, involving the Waratahs, Reds, Brumbies, Rebels and Western Force. Crowds are not permitted at this stage, so these games will be televised on Foxsports and Kayo.

The full Super Rugby AU draw can be found here.

Retro is Hot in The Wick’s Shop – 4 days to Order!
Due to popular demand, the time-honoured Wicks Long Sleeve Cotton Retro Jersey is making a spectacular comeback to Coogee Oval and is breaking all sales records

The 2020 edition of the Retro Jersey will be ‘Made to Order’ only and is now available to pre-order online at ‘The Wick’s Shop’.

Please note the Retro Jersey will not be held in stock and pre-orders will STRICTLY close at 9am next Monday 15 June. You have 4 days to get a wriggle on, so you don't miss out.

Plus, while you are at The Wicks Shop, check out all the fabulous supporter gear you need, from jackets, hoodies, beanies, caps and more, all at your fingertips to buy.

Wedding Bells:
Congratulations to current Randwick player and barista to the stars at Sutton’s City, Sam Croke who became engaged last weekend to his beautiful fiancee Julia. Plus, we hear that the pitter patter of little feet is also imminent, so it’s all happening for these guys.

From everyone, we wish you both a life time of happiness together and a seamless journey into being for junior Croke.

In Memoriam.
Sincere condolences from all at Randwick Rugby go out to the family and friends of the following men in our club and community, who sadly passed away in the last month:

  • Dave Newstead: A 1st Grade Premiership player in 1973 and an immensely popular teammate during his 4 seasons with us. Dave left us after a long health battle aged 70 in Brisbane, survived by his wife Frances and offspring John, William and Kate.
  • Jordan Paea: A well-known junior rep player, whose life was tragically cut way too short, aged just 21. I had a bit to do with Jordan, his brother Jeremy and mum Deb over the years, so it was a great shock to me and so many others in our junior and senior club community, who were greatly affected by his loss.
  • Frank Crook: Legendary journalist/broadcaster and lifelong Wicks supporter who voluntarily hosted many of our events over the years, who passed away suddenly.
  • Robin Bridgewater: A popular coach at South Coogee in the 70’s 80’s and 90’s who gave much service to his club and junior rugby, passed away in Queensland.

RIP men and God bless you, your families and friends.

Jobs for the Boys (and girls...)
Obviously, everyone is affected by the current situation, but we do have a few players doing it very tough as job opportunities dry up and casual shifts get cut back – particularly those from the country and interstate without local networks to fall back on.

If there are any opportunities in any field we have some hardworking Randwick boys and girls ready, willing and able. Please email me at if you do.

Support of Sponsors.
Again, we would ask you if you have the means or the requirements to do so, to support our sponsors businesses. Fortunately, we have some very loyal partners and our own Randwick Rugby Foundation who we thank sincerely for sticking with us in these unparalleled times.

Please pay a visit online to our partners by clicking on their logo’s displayed below.

Sponsor in Profile - Glenn Rohrig:
This week I would like to single out Glenn Rohrig at Rohrig Constructions for his amazing support of Randwick Rugby for the past 5 seasons. Whilst his financial contribution is greatly appreciated (particularly at the moment...) he also helps the club out in so many other ways.

Glenn has been extraordinarily generous and the driving force with our Colts Director Peter Dumbleton of our Rohrig Elite Development Program (EDP), which targets the personal growth on and off the field of talented junior players, that have been identified.

Glenn also has for years employed many of our players, staff and even recently put on some staff members whose jobs were impacted during the COVID 19 crisis – just to help them and the club out.

Glenn and his wife Amanda have even had some of our overseas players stay at their own house for a few weeks, until we were able to arrange permanent accommodation, plus he employed them both until they got on their feet. The players in question were a prop and hooker who apparently ate a truckload of chicken too - which he also shouted.

Best of all Glenn is a good bloke who loves his rugby and we are fortunate he is so committed and passionate about our club! Thanks Glenn we greatly appreciate it all.

Sign-Off:
Things are now moving so rapidly (its honestly changing by the hour...) to get our entire district back on the field and I can assure you that all stakeholders in the seniors, juniors and women are working feverishly hard to achieve it.

Please like our Facebook page or check our website where any daily updates or the latest news announcements are shared and posted.

Incredibly we are still 7 wins and no losses at this point, so let’s enjoy it while we can.

Keep well, keep safe and we will keep you posted.

Up the Wicks!

Cheers
Mark

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