Young rugby talent continue to capitalise on any opportunity to showcase their skills as 34 teams from across Australia gathered at the Perce Douglas Memorial Fields in Nicholls to compete in the Southern States Junior Championship from the 11-14 July.
The Australian rugby development pathway is growing stronger and more competitive each year, with the 2023 championship seeing the involvement of over 800 players and 200 coaches and supporting staff.
The fourth instalment of the championship provided a platform for players U12 through to U18, in both girls and boys divisions, to showcase their talents and compete against some of the best in their age groups.
Over the 11-12 July, the U12’s and U14’s boys and girls teams faced off in their respective divisions. With the absence of Victoria, both divisions were looking for new champions to be crowned.
In the U12s mixed, ACTJRU finished undefeated with four comprehensive wins over Southern Inland Rugby and South Coast-Monaro.
The U14s boys competition was tightly contested with 7 sides going toe to toe over the two days. In the end, the ACTJRU U14s were too strong as they took home the crown.
Despite lower numbers, the U14s girls division showed a determined group of players battle it out in a similar contest, with the Illawarra side claiming the title over ACTJRU and ACT Brumbies Country.
The second half of the competition began on Thursday 13 July as the U16s and U18s competitions kicked off on a brisk Canberra Winter morning.
The new inclusions of Western Australia (U16 & U18 Girls), Tasmania (U18 Girls) and Southern Cross Barbarians (Tasmania & SNSW U16 Girls) across the girls divisions sparked fresh rivalry, with both WA teams showing that west really is best, clinching the U16 and U18 girls titles.
In the boys competition, a tough slog saw the ACT U15s victorious as they went undefeated in the U16s division, whilst Brumbies Country narrowly defeated ACT U16s in the U18 division.
With the fourth Southern States Junior Championship run and won, it was great to see a tremendous amount of passion, game awareness far beyond their years and hard running across all the divisions.
- U12s: ACTJRU
- U14s Girls: Illawarra
- U14s Boys: ACT U14s
- U16s Girls: Rugby WA
- U16s Boys: ACT U15s
- U18s Girls: Rugby WA
- U18s Boys: Brumbies Country
Finals & Results:
- U12s: ACT (No Final)
- U14s Girls: Illawarra (15) vs ACT (7)
- U14s Boys: ACT U14s (17) vs ACT U13s (7)
- U16s Girls: Rugby WA (No Final)
- U16s Boys: ACT U15s (10) vs SIRU U16s (7)
- U18s Girls: Rugby WA (26) vs ACT (0)
- U18s Boys: Brumbies Country (10) vs ACT U16s (7)