Rugby union referees and coaches to benefit as much as the players at Western Region Institute of Sport

GOOD TIMES AHEAD: Jonah Raidveta starred for the Dubbo Roos under 13s on Saturday and by the time he reaches the under 17s he could benefit from Tuesday's announcement. Photo: NICK McGRATH
GOOD TIMES AHEAD: Jonah Raidveta starred for the Dubbo Roos under 13s on Saturday and by the time he reaches the under 17s he could benefit from Tuesday's announcement. Photo: NICK McGRATH

While the development of the Western Region Institute of Sport (WRIS) will bring massive advantages for aspiring athletes in the country, it will also help many others.

NSW Rugby Union’s Country Development Manager for the Far West, Gus McDonald, was like all those on hand at Tuesday’s announcement and thrilled for the next generation of athletes who will benefit.

But he was also excited for others in the game who now have a base to come and learn.

“Our pathways currently, you go through country juniors and then everything leads to Sydney and I know our Gen Blue, our pathways program for thew Waratahs, could easily be run at a facility like this,” he said.

“This best thing is we can get kids from out west in here and we can run exactly the same things as we would in Sydney.

“It’s exposing them and opening them up to high performance and to what the Waratahs do.

“That training, and coach education and referee education and things like this are not just for the players are kids, the support that we can give country rugby has grown a lot bigger.”

NSW Rugby Union CEO Andrew was in Dubbo last week and didn’t shy away from the fact more needs to be done for the game in country areas.

McDonald said this was a step in the right direction.

“This is a facility that will rival anything that’s in Sydney,” he said.

“This was definitely needed and I’m just thankful it’s in Dubbo because, for rugby, it sits on the border of three zones. It sits on Central West, Western Plains, and Central North so it’s ideally located for us in a market that is growing.”

Development officers like McDonald will be able to be based at the location while some fields and indoor facilities will be able to be shared by rugby league and rugby union teams.

Construction could begin as soon as May next year.

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