Dunedin side for under-85kg competition

Rugby is fast becoming a game for the big and powerful.

But those who are not quite as bulky or strong now have a chance to have a go.

New Zealand Rugby launched the second year of a national under-85kg competition late last week.

The Otago Rugby Football Union is on board and a side consisting of players from the Dunedin competition has been entered.

The union now has to start organising a team

ORFU rugby operations administrator Thomas Grant said the union’s search for players had begun and would play under the Sassenachs banner.

Once a list of players was confirmed, two open days would take place and trials will be held.

There was no age limit although players had to have left school and be aligned with a club.

He said it was a fantastic concept to get players of a smaller size playing the game.

Long-term the union may look at introducing an under-85kg grade in Dunedin.

At the moment the junior colts grade filled a good spot for players who just wanted to play the game and not take it too seriously.

No coach had been appointed yet for the under-85kg team. The first game for the team is on June 7 and trainings will not interfere with club practices.

Grant said he was confident plenty of players would be interested in the team. The draw has the Sassenachs team taking on a side from Pleasant Point from South Canterbury in the opening round. No date has yet to be arranged but it is set to be played in the club rugby window.

NZR started a national under-85kg competition last year with 19 teams from five unions.

This had grown to 45 teams from 12 provinces this season.

The bulk of the teams are from Auckland. The final of the national competition will be played at Eden Park later in the season.

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