Hammers’ prepare to fire as union season reopens

RUGBY UNION: As the Gympie Hammers are rejoicing the return of the Sunshine Coast Rugby Union competition, there is another celebration for the club.

The Hammers will field teams in the junior competition after 13 years of absence.

Club president Jason McPherson said the club had worked tirelessly to be in this position today.

“We had great numbers sign up at the start of the season and we will have three more teams,” he said.

READY TO GO: Gympie Hammers rugby union club juniors (back, from left) Kellen Donoghue, Tayla Vogelpoel, Jack Downward and (front) Hudson Donoghue. Photo: Troy Jegers.
READY TO GO: Gympie Hammers rugby union club juniors (back, from left) Kellen Donoghue, Tayla Vogelpoel, Jack Downward and (front) Hudson Donoghue. Photo: Troy Jegers.

“Last year we had an under-17 girls and local under-12s. We will now have under-13 and under-15 boys and under-15 and under-17 girls”.

McPherson said the Sunshine Coast Rugby Union would be sending through the rules clubs would have to follow amid Covid-19.

“We will have someone dedicated to enforcing the rules by the Government,” he said.

“If we all do not buy into this and do the right thing then stage three may not happen and we may not play at all this year.

“The rules are not too different to what we have been doing the past month – making sure everything is clean and if someone is sick to stay away at home”.

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Sunshine Coast Rugby Union manager Mike Aronsten said clubs would be allowed to begin full-contact training on July 11 in the lead up to the resumption of games.

It comes after the completion of non-contact training under the State Government Stage 2 guidelines.

Mr Aronsten said seniors would commence on Saturday, August 1 and would run for 11 weeks, with semi finals on the weekend of October 17 and 18.

Elimination finals will be played on October 24 and the grand final on October 31.

He said six A-grade, senior women’s and colts teams would compete along with 10 reserve grade teams, including the new team from Eumundi.

The junior competition will start on July 24 and finish in September with 11 clubs taking part.