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By ARU Media Unit
The BMW Junior Gold Cup Conference Finals have been confirmed with Western NSW making Junior Gold history by becoming the first team from the region to make the Finals.
In the U17s age division Western Sydney will play the ACT in the Southern Final at TG Milner Field in Eastwood on Sunday 20 March and in the Northern Final Brisbane will take on Western Australia at Ballymore on Tuesday 15 March.
For the U15s players Western NSW will have the home ground advantage in Orange when they take on the ACT and in the Northern Conference Final Brisbane City Gold will take on the young men from Western Australia.
For all Junior Gold Cup fixtures and results please click here.
Australian Rugby’s National Pathways Competition Manager, Michael Grice congratulated all teams in the Conference Finals: “All teams have done very well to make their respective conference Finals and deserve to be congratulated on their performances to date.
“Brisbane have been very consistent all the way through. They did it tough in a couple of games but have some pretty talented young players there.
“Coach Greg Nelson is very experienced and has been coaching Junior Gold since it started. He communicates very well and puts a good game plan.
Throughout 2016 the Western Sydney Junior Gold Cup teams have proven how far they have grown with consistent coaching over the last few years enhancing the strong ties within the squad.
“It’s good to see a western Sydney side in the Final,” Grice said to ARU Media.
“I think there has been a huge buy in from NSWRU for the JGC this year and it’s fantastic.
“The trialling numbers were way up on last year and there has been a really good buy in from the schools and Junior Rugby.”
Western Australia has not used the tyranny of distance as a means to underperform with the state making its third straight Junior Gold Cup Conference Final.
“It was a great effort from the ACT to be in that U17s Final and Western Australia who do it tough.
“After tonight they would have played six games in nine days which is not a bad effort at all really.
“In the Northern Conference it normally comes down to Western Australia against a Brisbane side.
“WA thoroughly deserve their place. They work hard and do it tough but they are very well managed and they are not daunted by the tyranny of distance.”
In the U15s it is the first time that the NSW Country side has made the conference Finals following on from its impressive undefeated performance throughout the pool stages.
“It’s sensational to see a country side in a Junior Gold Cup Final. It’s great for the west and I think it’s great for Rugby.
“Hopefully at some stage there will be a team from the country in Queensland that make the Northern Final as well.”