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Opinion

Shute Shield and the coronavirus

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RumBoi new author
Roar Rookie
4th April, 2020
2

The Shute Shield as we know and love it will not be with us this year, along with many other things we enjoy.

Rats and SRU president Phillip Parsons has proposed an eight-week substitute comp, which may fill our need for a club rugby fix, and this should be eagerly lapped up.

However, it doesn’t sound like club rugby to me.

Not all clubs may be able to put a side together.

Playing without spectators and supporters on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays could spread the game thinly for video viewing.

Experimental rules and an invitational Polynesian side add up to a mickey-mouse social game, reminiscent of Kerry Packer’s novelty World Series Cricket in the late 1970s.

Sydney Uni Shute Shield

(Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

There are many questions and while gate takings and food and beverage sales are always a source of revenue for a host club, the inclusion of corporate lunches as a fund-raiser has been touted in Phillip Parsons’ concept.

Now, I know the pies are great at Eastwood and the beer is always colder at Warringah, but is corporate catering a reality inclusion for a revised version of club rugby?

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But the big question: why is there an invitational Polynesian team? Why not include the Jaguares, and the Sunwolves?

It’s bloody club rugby at stake here, not corporate lunches and international players. It seems rugby will do anything for Channel Seven.

Taking club rugby to the bush has been a real success and including regional zones and the ACT in any competition will do much more for club rugby than what is being suggested. It could even be seen as a pathway for regional players, gosh!

Nice try Phillip, now ask the Sydney and NSW rugby community what they want and I’m pretty sure a realistic format can recreate the club tribalism that has made the Shute Shield such an amazing rugby competition.