* required fields
By ARU Media Unit
The 2012 Santos National Indigenous Under 16 Championship starts today at Palm Beach Currumbin Rugby Union Club on the Gold Coast. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander players from state, territory and affiliate representative teams will come together to compete in the national residential Championship which runs until next Monday.
Former Wallabies Gary Ella and Lloyd McDermott will visit the Championship across the weekend. Newly appointed 2013 Western Force Captain, former Qantas Wallabies forward and product of the Lloyd McDermott Rugby programme, Matt Hodgson will also be making an appearance.
The Championship features six teams; Northern NSW, Southern QLD, Southern NSW/ACT, Combined States, Northern Territory, Northern QLD in a round robin format.
Each team will play each other in six 30-minute matches over Saturday and Sunday with the winner of the Championship to be decided on Monday.
The Championship is an important element of the Player Pathway at National, Provincial, Regional and Affiliate levels conducted by The Lloyd McDermott Rugby Development Team (LMDRT), who provide Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth with a future through the game of Rugby.
The LMDRT work in partnership with the ARU in assembling Indigenous Rugby teams to the National Under 16 Championship, making it an effective platform for identifying and developing young Rugby talent and expanding participation across Australia.
CEO of the Lloyd McDermott Rugby Development Team, Tom Evans, said he was excited by the prospect of watching the future of Australia’s indigenous Rugby players go head-to-head.
“I always get a thrill when these Championships roll around every year because it allows us to highlight the amount of indigenous talent that is coming through the Rugby ranks,” Mr Evans said.
“It is also exciting to think that we are providing an opportunity for these players to participate in a professionally run tournament.
“I have no doubts that there are some future Qantas Wallabies amongst the players that will be competing over the coming days and I encourage fans to get down and check the next generation of stars.”
The complete draw for the 2012 Santos National Indigenous Under 16 Championship can be found below.