16 days ago

Shute Shield blockbuster to open proceedings in Grassroots Round:

The NSW Waratahs are excited to announce that the highly anticipated Shute Shield clash between Northern Suburbs and the Manly Marlins will be played at Allianz Stadium on Friday 31 May as a curtain-raiser to the Waratahs Round 15 match against the Queensland Reds.

The match against the Reds will be the annual celebration of Grassroots Round, where the Waratahs pay tribute to the influential contribution that local clubs make in growing the rugby community, building the players of the future, and the huge amount of work that goes on behind-the-scenes to keep the great game of rugby alive and well at the grassroots.

“Grassroots Round is a very special occasion for our club,” CEO Paul Doorn said.

“Club rugby is truly the lifeblood of our game and it’s an opportunity for us to extend our gratitude and appreciation for all the valuable work that local clubs do.

“To have two wonderful Shute Shield clubs like Northern Suburbs and the Manly Marlins play before the main game is a terrific way to enhance the Grassroots Round experience.

“Both those clubs have contributed to the development of several of our current players such as Hugh Sinclair and Tom Ross from Northern Suburbs, and Langi Gleeson and Lalakai Foketi from Manly.”

The Head Coaches of Northern Suburbs and Manly were similarly thrilled to be a part of the initiative.

“Including a Shute Shield match as the curtain-raiser for Grassroots Round provides a great connection back to club rugby,” Manly Head Coach Chris De Looze said.

“The players are really looking forward to playing in front of a big crowd at Allianz Stadium, which is a world-class venue.

“Fans can expect a high-quality contest between two clubs in the top four of the competition and who played in a semi-final against each other last season.”

"It's brilliant to see the Waratahs putting the Shute Shield on centre-stage before their biggest home game of the season,” added Northern Suburbs Head Coach Zak Beer.

“It's a great opportunity for Shute Shield players coming through the NSW Rugby pathway to showcase their skills and promote the grassroots game at the same time."

"The players are certainly looking forward to representing not only Norths but also the Shute Shield and getting the opportunity to play at Allianz Stadium.

"We've had some heavyweight battles over the past few years between Norths and Manly. There was last year's Shute Shield Preliminary Final and then another Semi Final in 2023, with most results finishing with the winning margin just a handful of points.

"Both teams have had strong starts to the 2024 season and have good depth throughout the Grades, so it sets up to be another memorable contest.

"It'd be great to see plenty of support come out for the game, not only Norths and Manly supporters but the wider Shute Shield and Club Rugby community."

To honour the clubs that provided a pathway for them progress through to the Super Rugby Pacific, the Waratahs players will be wearing the socks of their respective clubs against the Reds.

Junior clubs will also form a guard of honour for the players as they run out onto the field at Allianz Stadium.

Match Details:

Shute Shield - Round 9: Northern Suburbs v Manly Marlins

o Friday May 31st at Allianz Stadium.
o Kick-off: 5:05pm AEST
o Purchase your tickets here.

Super Rugby Pacific – Round 15: NSW Waratahs v QLD Reds

o Friday May 31st at Allianz Stadium.
o Kick-off: 7:35pm AEST.
o Purchase your tickets here.
o The match will be broadcast live and ad-free and Stan Sport.

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