Hey there…thanks for the reply. I’ll give some vitals, I apologize in advance for the length of the post, but as you say it’s probably helpful.
Playing history: I’ve played the game for more than 10 yrs. I started at fly half when I was 14 (I just turned 28), moved to the centres and eventually the wing. I played both U19’s and men’s league at 18, both on the wing and in the back row. Won the Eastern Ontario U19’s that year with the Ottawa Beavers. I played some at Queens’s University (3rd XV) and then moved away from the game due to some concussion issues. After three years of Gaelic Football (Two Toronto GAA Championships with St. Mike’s GFHC) I joined a local rugby club in Stratford, ON and played wing for them. We won the league that year and the next, the SWORU/Southwest Rugby Union. Right-o
I plan on being down in Australia for May-August inclusive, and NOT looking to play tourist. I figure the immersion in the rugby culture will beat any walking tour of Sydney. It certainly did in with my second club in small town Ontario.
In terms of training/level of play I’m after, I’d like to learn as much as I can, so a mid-high level would be ideal, but I know I’m not Premier/1st Div., 1st grade material. I’m not a monster but I’ve got enough size to hold some of my own (6’, 93 kilos) with some reasonable strength; 400/182ish squat, 450/205ish dead, 275/125ish bench, 240/110 power clean, all weights in lbs/kilos. I haven’t tested my 40yd spint time in quite a while.
Ideally the old Tues/Thurs training for a Sat. game would be fantastic, but I know that many clubs below 1st Div. only train once a week for the weekend match.
I know there are other considerations, such as visas/work permits and club sponsors for international players, and I’m investigating those things as I go.
Thanks for taking the time with this,
A quick answer for now as I don’t have much time, but I think in Sydney your best bet would be to try and join up a high level Suburban Rugby club. These clubs are more likely to accept players mid season (season usually starts in late March).
You won’t get into the Premier Division, which are the top suburban clubs, basically the level below the Super 14 provincial sides. They are semi-professional, at least for their top 2 grades, and would already have started training so getting in is difficult. Although you might be able to get a spot in a 4th or 5th grade side.
The top level “subbies” teams are quite serious about their rugby, but this level really allows a better social scene as well because it is a little more relaxed, you will get a good feel for Aussie rugby culture!
Go to http://www.rugby.net.au/ , which is the NSW Suburban Rugby site to find out about all of the clubs etc. If you know where in Sydney you are going to stay let me know and I can point you in the right direction of a club in your area.