Western Force Cup to change WA rugby landscape

Thu, Dec 9, 2021, 1:30 AM
Bryce Conway
by Bryce Conway

The Western Force Cup aims to be the premier school-aged rugby competition in the country.

The Western Australian school competition, formerly known as the Rugby Schools Cup, has today been relaunched as the Western Force Cup.

Made possible through the generous support of Dr Andrew Forrest AO and Nicola Forrest AO, the Western Force Cup will see 18 schools from across the Perth metropolitan area compete for the 2022 title.

Schools confirmed for the competition include Aranmore Catholic College, Churchlands Senior High School, Frederic Irwin Anglican School, John XXIII College, Joseph Banks Secondary College, Lake Joondalup Baptist College, Prendiville Catholic College, Quinns Baptist College, Ridgeview Secondary College, Shenton College, St Mark’s Anglican Community School, Thornlie Senior High School and Tranby College, with the remaining schools to be officially announced closer to the start of the 2022 campaign.

The competition will take place over an eight-week period between July and September 2022, with Grand Final Day on September 21. Teams will be based across three hubs, including a North, Central and South Zone, with six schools per zone.

Dr Forrest, the Chairman of the Western Force, said the competition would showcase emerging WA talent, increase the accessibility of rugby union and create pathways for boys and girls who wanted to play rugby.

“The change in name reflects the growing prominence of the Western Force. Right throughout the Western Australian community we are building something truly special, and we’re building it from the ground up,” Dr Forrest said.

“Last year, we provided $5 million to create an elite pathways program. This is on top of the $2 million we had already committed to women’s and children’s rugby in WA.

“A thriving rugby community requires a rock-solid foundation, that’s why we’re investing in the grassroots. The boys and girls playing in the Western Force Cup are the lifeblood of our sport in this State and our future champions.”

Western Force CEO Tony Lewis said the aim is to make the Western Force Cup the leading school-aged rugby competition in Australia.

“The Forrests are passionate about making WA a great rugby State, a real powerhouse, with far more locally-grown players,” Lewis explained.

"Through engaging with rugby, students will have the chance to develop meaningful friendships within the global rugby community, grow their passion for the game and learn valuable lessons centred around respect and integrity, all while having fun with their mates. “We are delighted to have the Force so heavily involved in an initiative aimed at growing the game of rugby for local boys and girls within WA.

“We are committed to working alongside RugbyWA to ensure a fun and educational structure that gives students every opportunity to experience rugby and develop their skills on and off the field. It’s an enjoyable collaboration and we’re looking forward to achieving our key outcomes together.”

RugbyWA CEO Nathan Charles said he was excited to see the competition continue to grow.

“To see the enjoyment and uptake in year one shows the appetite that WA has for rugby in our proud State,” Charles said.

“The growth of this competition over the next five years is integral to the sustainability of rugby in State schools and the growth of our sport in Western Australia.

“RugbyWA is excited to be leading delivery on the ground, with the Western Force adding significant profile in boosting the program, as we work together to improve participation and pathway opportunities.

“The generous support and investment from the Forrests has enabled this competition to come to life and we can’t wait to see the Western Force Cup continue to create opportunities for talented Western Australian kids for many years to come."

For any questions regarding the Western Force Cup, including expressions of interest to join the competition in 2022, please contact RugbyWA Participation Manager Damian Wainohu via email at damian.wainohu@rugbywa.com.au.