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THE AUSTRALIAN SCHOOLS RUGBY UNION ‘ASRU’

The Australian Schools Rugby Union (ASRU) is an independent, incorporated, not-for-profit association established in 1971. It is run by volunteer members of the teaching profession and professionals who believe rugby has a unique ethos and benefits that contribute to the broader education of young people.

The ARSU is responsible for implementing, administering, coordinating, organising and controlling all projects and activities relating to all rugby union activities in Australia at the school level, and being the official link between schools rugby and Rugby Australia. The primary responsibilities of the ASRU are the annual Australian Schools Rugby Championships, the selection of the Australian Schoolboys and Schoolgirl Teams, the selection of Australian coaches and support staff and the arranging and delivering of international tours.

The Australian Schoolboys has won 192 of 264 games from 1969-2023, with an all-time winning percentage of 73%, scoring 6,687pts to 3,128pts.

The relationship between the ASRU and Rugby Australia provides an aligned and official pathway for boys and girlsandsupports player development and selection to senior national teams, including Wallabies, Wallaroos, World Cups, Youth Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games and the Olympic Games.

The ASRU has provided an expansive nursery to foster the opportunities and aspirations of school rugby players for over 50 years, establishing an extraordinary legacy and goodwill of performing at the highest level. This legacy is seen among the tens of thousands of young schoolboys, and now schoolgirls, from around the country who have participated in the Australian Schools Championships. Then, those who pulled on the Green and Gold representing the Australian Schoolboys or Australian Schoolgirls, and those who went on to represent Australia at the highest level as Wallabies, Australian Sevens or in other senior representative teams.

Of the 1984 Grand Slam-winning Wallabies team and the two World Cup-winning Wallaby teams in 1991 and 1999, 27 of the players were Australian Schoolboy representatives.

The Australian Schoolboys has a long and famed tradition of touring, taking on the strongest international competition going back over five decades, winning 192 of 264 games from 1969-2023, with an all-time winning percentage of 73%, scoring 6,687 pts to 3,128 pts (All Blacks 76% and Wallabies 58% all-time winning percentages).

Such has been the impact of Australian Schools Rugby that in 2015, 68 percent of the five Australian Super Rugby teams — the Waratahs, Reds, Brumbies, Force and Rebels — came through the Australian Schools pathway, with 49 percent being Australian Schoolboys representatives.

The first Australian Schoolboys tour was held in 1969 to South Africa, a team which featured future Wallabies Greg Cornelsen, Russell Fairfax and Steve Finnane.

The first of many UK tours was held in 1973 and featured future Wallabies Phil Crowe, Mick Mathers and Terry Wright.

The first Australian Schoolgirls Sevens team was selected in 2023, which went on to win the Global Youth Sevens on the Gold Coast.

Girls Sevens and Boys XVs competitions are now fully integrated at the Australian Schools Championships, with an Australian Schoolboys and Australian Schoolgirls Sevens teams selected each year.

Since its inception in 1969, over 210 Australian Schools Rugby Union representatives have gone on to represent the Wallabies in the international arena. Hundreds more have been selected in state and other representative teams.

Three of the 2023 Australian Schoolgirls, Shalom Sauaso, Waiaria Ellis, and Elise Simpson, were selected for Rugby Australia’s U18 Sevens team.

Shalom Sauaso won the Best Player award in the Global Youth Sevens on the Gold Coast in December and the Best Player award for the RA Australian U18 Sevens in New Zealand.

Two of the 2023 team, Shalom Sauaso and Waiaria Ellis, both 16 years old, are already playing in the Super W competition, Sauaso with the Queensland Reds and Ellis with the NSW Waratahs.

Heidi Dennis (QLD) and Ruby Nicholas (NSW) became the first members of the Australian Schoolgirls Sevens Program to represent Australia at the senior level in the RA Australian Sevens team, less than 18 months after their participation in the 2022 Australian Schools Championships.

COMBINED STATEMENT FROM THE ASRU AND RUGBY AUSTRALIA

THE AUSTRALIAN SCHOOLS RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIPS

The Australian Schools Rugby Championships are held annually in the July school holidays. Representative teams from member states compete in the Boy XVs Open and Girls Sevens U16 and Girls Sevens Open competitions.

An Australian Schoolboys team and an Australian Schoolgirls Sevens team are selected from the Championships.

In 2023, the Australian Schoolboys and an Australian Schools Barbarians played a series against Tonga Schoolboys in NSW. The Australian Schoolgirls Sevens team represented Australia at the Global Youth Sevens 9-10 December at Bond University on the Gold Coast, Queensland, winning the tournament

THE AUSTRALIAN TEAMS

THE AUSTRALIAN SCHOOLBOYS

THE AUSTRALIAN SCHOOLGIRLS

ASRU COMMITTEE AND EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

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