Why rugby’s reigning champs won’t play this year
RUGBY UNION: Defending champions, the Dawson Valley Drovers, will not contest the 2020 Rugby Capricornia season.
COVID-19 restrictions meant the club was unable to host games and the added expense of travelling for every fixture made it unfeasible for them to play in the revised competition.
Rugby Capricornia secretary James Nasser said that meant eight men’s teams would take part - Biloela, Cap Coast, Colts, Frenchville, Mt Morgan and Gladstone and two from Brothers.
The women’s 7s competition will be bolstered this year by two new teams - Gladstone and Blackwater – who will line up alongside Colts, Cap Coast, Brothers and Biloela.
There will also be played in three junior divisions – under-12, under-14 and under-16.
Nasser said excitement was building in the rugby ranks, and a handful of the men’s teams would play trial games at Victoria Park on Saturday in preparation for the start of the season proper on July 25.
Mt Morgan, too, was not in a position to host games so would be away for all of their fixtures.
Men’s teams will play eight weeks of fixtures before the top four go into Division 1, the bottom four into Division 2.
They will play semi-finals (1 v 4 and 2 v 3) in their respective divisions, with the winners going through to the grand finals on September 26.
Nasser said it would be great to have teams back on the field, and he was expecting to see some players from other codes whose competitions had been cancelled giving rugby a crack.
“Given the shortened preparation, I don’t expect teams to be playing spectacular rugby in the first couple of weeks but I do think it will be very energetic and very entertaining,” he said.
“Players will be happy to be out and running around again after not being able to train or play for several months.
“I do expect that by the end of the eight weeks of fixtures we will be seeing some really good rugby.”