Casuarina Beach joins Far North Coast Rugby Union
CASUARINA Beach Rugby club will launch straight into first grade competition after forming a senior men's side for 2017.
The fledging club have officially joined the Far North Coast Rugby Union (FNCRU) after a push was made in June of 2016 to incorporate a senior side into their already established junior ranks.
After being given the green light to establish the senior side following a meeting in July, Casuarina pulled off a coup by bringing former NSW Waratah and Bond University coach Adam Leach on board as coach and former ACT Brumby and Queensland Red Adam Wallace-Harrison into the coaching group.
Kingscliff Beach Hotel and Clarence Property Group are onboard as major sponsors and Leach said the club had been growing strongly over pre-season.
"Numbers have been good and we've gelled really well. It's a great bunch of guys with lots of character," he said.
"We're in the low 30's for numbers, but it's been building up, so hopefully we get more players coming down."
The first grade side will have its first big test tomorrow at Casuarina Beach Rugby Fields in their first trial match for the pre-season against Ballina.
Bypassing the temptation of playing in lower grades for their inaugural season, Leach said the side would take it one step at a time against top quality opposition.
"Competing in a first grade tournament is a big step and at this stage, our aim is to be competitive," he said.
"We want to have good, tough matches and win a few, and hopefully get to finals.
"But at this stage, we just want to compete and see how we go against the rest of the competition."
The side has already attracted quality players, five of which have already nominated for Far North Rugby representative sides.
Highlighted by former league player Fletcher Wyver, who'll fill a position in the front-row and outside-centre Blake Hawkins, Leach feels the side has the makings of a strong team.
"Fletcher has a good work rate, he's a good ball carrier and he's learning the dark secrets of the scrum," Leach said.
"Blake is a very fit, hard running centre that runs good lines."
The club has also expanded into women's rugby ranks, with two sides competing in Gold Coast Rugby's Women's 7s competition.
"By getting the girls on board as well, we've now got a good contingent of juniors and seniors at the club," Leach said.
"(We've) been received really well, so we hope the community comes down to support us."
The Barbarians will join eight other clubs in the expanded first-grade men's competition and will kick-off their inaugural season at home against Lennox Head on Saturday, March 25.
They'll also host an official club launch at Kingscliff Beach Hotel from 1pm on Sunday, March 19.
Casuarina Beach Rugby Club calendar:
Saturday, March 11
- Senior trial-match vs. Ballina
- Casuarina Beach Rugby Fields at 3.30pm
- Junior matches from 2pm
Sunday, March 19
- Official Club Launch
- Kingscliff Beach Hotel at 1pm
Saturday, March 25
- Round one vs. Lennox Head
- Casuarina Rugby Fields
- Time: TBA