"We know how much the Central West appreciates getting quality rugby out there, so we wanted to bring it out there for everyone to see".
That's the word of Sydney University president and former Wallaby David Lyons, one of Molong's greatest sporting products, ahead of the students' Intrust Super Shute Shield Country Round at Mudgee's Glen Willow Sporting Complex this weekend.
The students land in Mudgee to take on Eastwood in first and second grade on Saturday afternoon, games that will complement the Wombats' New Holland Agriculture Cup clash with last year's beaten grand finalists Parkes.
Quality rugby's right too, considering Lyons' second-placed students are the Shute Shield's reigning champions and are coming off a 50-nil hammering of Warringah in last weekend's 2018 grand final rematch, while the Woodies are in a four-way tie for third, just one point behind them.
"Eastwood are one of the teams to beat and obviously we're the defending premiers so I think it'll be a really exciting game," Lyons said.
"For anyone who watches (Sydney) club rugby they'll know how exciting it is. It's one of the best forms of rugby in the country and it's getting more and more support throughout NSW so we're really looking forward to showing it off out there, and hopefully showing more people what club rugby has to offer."
Sydney University took their Country Round to Bowral last season but considering their plethora of connections to the Central West and the region's history as a proven host for big events, Lyons said it was a no-brainer to head to Mudgee.
Among those connections in terms of the playing group are vice-captain Matt Sandell, Mitch Whiteley and Rory Suttor, from Mudgee, Wellington and Bathurst respectively.
Glen Willow hosted the NSW Country Eagles' National Rugby Championship clash against the Melbourne Rising last year and welcomed the NSW Waratahs for a pre-season trial against the Brumbies.
Orange has hosted the NRC in recent years along with the Shute Shield, and will again this year, while Bathurst's Anne Ashwood Park welcomed the Super W last month as well.
"We've been to Bowral before but ... [Glen Willow] is such a great venue (so) it's great to get even further west. We've got a big affinity with the Central West and country NSW, if you look at the [first grade] team I'd say about half of them are from the country," Lyons said.
"Some of our clubs best players through history have been born and bred in country NSW and obviously I'm a Central West boy through-and-through as well, so it's important to me that we try and bring a game out there and show off what club rugby has to offer.
"It's the natural pathway to the next level too, I think it always has been, an dit's becoming more and more relevant, there's a lot more interest. It's getting better and better and we want to show that off and bring Sydney University out there."
Lyons explained there's plenty more the Country Round has to offer too, with a free coaching clinic before the games kick-off, to be run by Classic Wallabies general manager and former Australian second-rower Justin Harrison along with Wallaroos and Waratahs ace Sera Naiqama.
"It's great to have those guys coming out so there'll be a lot for the kids to begin with too," Lyons said.
Gates open at 10am at Glen Willow, with Mudgee's Westfund Ferguson Cup clash against Bathurst Bulldogs opening the day at 11am. If it goes ahead the New Holland Agriculture Cup second grade clash is next up from 12pm.
Following that the kids' junior clinic runs from 12.15-1.15pm, before the Wombats' top grade clash with the Boars and the students' second grade clash with Eastwood, both from 1.25pm.
The Intrust Super Shute Shield clash kicks off at 3.10pm, with tickets for the day just $10 and available here.
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