The Rugby Union Players’ Association (RUPA) are pleased to announce that they have extended their tenure as Major Partner of the Australian Schools Rugby Union (ASRU) for two years.
The extension comes as a boost for both parties on the eve of this Friday’s Australian Schools Rugby Foundation Luncheon. The annual event is a chance to raise funds for the work ASRU do in supporting schoolboy Rugby nationally.
ASRU is the national body for Schoolboy Rugby Union in Australia, organising the annual Australian Schoolboys team, tours and Schoolboys National Championships Carnival, and RUPA Chief Executive Ross Xenos said that RUPA had no hesitation in extending its agreement.
“We’ve been really proud to strengthen our relationship with ASRU over the last three years and see our partnership as just one of the many ways that today’s professional players are supporting the development of tomorrow’s Wallabies,” Xenos said.
“We’re looking forward to continuing to be closely involved in supporting the upcoming National Schoolboy Championships and the Australian Schoolboys team, and not only giving aspiring players a sense of the pathway to professionalism, but also the importance of personal development in tandem with their Rugby. RUPA does a lot of work with professional players to encourage the advancement of their education, career planning and broader life skills and our partnership with ASRU allows us to start communicating that important message to players at an even earlier stage.”
ASRU Executive Officer Andrew Elliot welcomed RUPA’s commitment to extending the partnership.
“We’re really pleased that RUPA will continue to support Australian Schoolboy Rugby players, and to support the efforts of ASRU and the players’ schools to assist them to become better people and better Rugby players,” Elliot said.
“RUPA’s player-first attitude and approach is critical in the development of these young men, and we look forward to at least two more great years working together with RUPA to educate, support and prepare schoolboy representatives.”
The partnership, which originally commenced in 2013, sees RUPA granted the opportunity to speak to nearly 300 state schoolboy representatives ahead of the annual National Schoolboy Championships in July.
In an exciting addition to the partnership, RUPA will also grant two scholarships of $2,000 each to players selected in the Australian Schoolboys side each year, to support those players and their families with their next year of study, costs of Rugby participation or assist with financial hardship.
There are currently 32 Wallabies playing Super Rugby who featured in the Australian Schoolboys program, from RUPA President Benn Robinson (2002) to Sean McMahon (2011), as well as plenty more capped Wallaby graduates playing overseas.
Since ASRU first toured South Africa in 1969, over 170 schoolboys have gone on to represent the Wallabies with countless more playing in both the Super Rugby competition and overseas since the game turned professional in 1995.
Click here to see the full list of Australian Schoolboys representatives who have later become Senior Internationals.