The Dubbo Junior Rugby Club is 'considering all options' after a raft of changes were voted through at a recent Central West Rugby Union general meeting.
As first reported in the Central Western Daily, the age groups across the Central West zone will move from an odds structure to an evens structure, which will mean changes will have to be made to how the Dubbo club promotes the sport through it's junior pathway.
I can understand where the other clubs are coming from, but as one of the bigger clubs in the area, it'll have a bigger impact on us.President Jason Blake
Dubbo Junior Rugby Club President Jason Blake says that the club is still 'digesting' the proposal that was voted through and is looking at exactly how and where changes will take place.
"We will need to look at if we'll have a roll-on effect with our numbers because we do lose that 17 year age group, where we've historically had two teams with about forty players between them that we might not have," Blake said.
"We're really going to have to go out and promote the sport and promote the mateship, that friendly atmosphere and the benefits of playing in our junior and Walla rugby to offset that higher level group possibly going away in the seventeens."
"I can understand where the other clubs are coming from, but as one of the bigger clubs in the area, it'll have a bigger impact on us."
Beyond just the size of the Dubbo junior's teams, there are other considerations that require additional thought from the Dubbo club, including the structure of some of the teams that used to compete in the same grade.
"There's still a few unknowns, because our club is run slightly differently to other clubs, predominantly, we've had two teams in some of those junior competitions in the past," Blake said.
"Our under 15s blues side who won the competition quite easily will probably be the top team again in that next age group up because they'd move into the under 16s, normally we'd have a blues and a reds team, with the blues being the older team."
"Because we don't blend our teams, they tend to develop in the reds and then flourish more in the older aged team, so we're going to need to look at that and work out how we can be fair to all players and parents and how we're going to promote the game in those age groups."
The impact will be felt in particular in the Dubbo Walla rugby program, where primary school age players are given the opportunity to play and train on Friday night.
"When you look at that, the Wallas used to go up to primary school, but now you'll have that crossover of the primary school and year seven boys playing together," Blake said.
"When they train on Friday, it allows them to play multiple sports on Saturday, then when they get older, they can make an educated decision about what sports to stick with, now they have to make that choice sooner."
An information session is in the process of being arranged by the junior club.