Bundy rugby juniors such as Kieran Smith will now play under the Rugby Bundaberg umbrella.
Bundy rugby juniors such as Kieran Smith will now play under the Rugby Bundaberg umbrella. Simon young Solana Photography

UNION UNIFIED: Rugby Bundaberg takes control

UNION: For the first time in more than a decade the seniors and juniors will be playing union under the one umbrella.

The NewsMail can reveal Rugby Bundaberg has taken control of juniors from the Bundaberg and District Junior Rugby Union after Queensland Rugby Union got involved.

The QRU found that the BDJRU was not affiliated to any board including their own or Australian Rugby Union.

The revelation meant that children were playing the game, potentially at risk, with no insurance backing them up because the competition wasn't under a peak body.

The QRU confirmed the changeover.

"QRU has worked with the Bundaberg and District Junior Rugby Union (BDJRU) and Rugby Bundaberg (RB) to merge the junior and senior bodies representing rugby in the wider Bundaberg region,” a statement said.

"This aligns Bundaberg as a constituted member of the QRU and ensures consistent governance and promotion of the sport throughout the region.

"A club-based competition format involving Waves Falcons Juniors (formerly BDJRU) and Turtles Junior Rugby Club will begin in the next few weeks with a view to growing the competition to include all other clubs in the region from 2019.”

The announcement has now seen the BDJRU move to The Waves Sports Club and become the junior club to The Waves Falcons.

The president Jeff Messitt said it was a technical error originally when they set it up that prevented them from being affiliated.

They tried to affiliate with the QRU this season but ran out of time with the association/club attempting to start its competition, the junior Spring Cup, last month.

"It was going to take three months to get it all up (affiliated),” he said.

"We tried to go through the ARU option and become a team entity but we got told we actually can't do that.

"We did look at other ways but it became too costly.”

So Messitt was left with no other choice but to form with The Waves.

"The committee jumped on board straight away,” he said.

"We're financially secure with new grounds coming.

"We're promising for the future.”

Messitt just hopes the changes allows juniors to play rugby.

Rugby Bundaberg president Luke McCloskey said the competition will hopefully start either before Christmas or after once the process has officially been ratified.

A sub-committee is expected to be formed soon.

"We've always liked to see juniors follow into seniors and we'll now get it with everything aligned,” McCloskey said.

"It also gives an opportunity of our Bundaberg rep teams to play for state.

"Parents should also now have ease of mind with their children covered with the right insurance.”

The news also allows the Turtles Hatchling, which McCloskey is also president of, to begin and start.

The Turtles program was delayed because of the affiliation drama.



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