Following their grand success last year, Byron Bay Rugby Union, the current Far North Coast Rugby Union President’s Cup (Village) Division Premiers, are making the step up to First Grade. Not since the Lennox Head Trojans made the same step up nearly a decade ago has a club decided to make the tough transition. Since then, Lennox have gone on to become the form team of First Division for the past several seasons, and Byron Bay are planning on following the same path.
Last year’s side, captained by Matt Dennis (brother of Wallaby flanker Dave Dennis), was notable for its speed and skill, possessing an almost Crusader-like ability to take turnover ball and then mesmerise a crowed as it executed tries with élan, from all points on the field. However, the team’s success was not built on dash and daring alone, as the team was possessed of a hard edge, a robust and physical pack and a dangerous ability to outthink its opponents and adapt the varying situations and sides.
With the step up to First Division in 2013, Byron has maintained the core of the 2012 Premiership side, minus some well-earned retirements, including several of the international players who are central to the ethos and club culture of this Barbarian-like outfit. However, with the move to First Division, Byron requires additional players and is casting its gaze widely, locally, across the country and internationally. With the draw of the Byron lifestyle and the support of the Club and its sponsors, Byron Bay Rugby has been home to many a wandering and skilled Rugby player.
Club president Paul Connell, recalling the Club’s older days, said that ‘Not since the eighties has Byron been so strong. Since leaving the First Division over a decade ago, the Club has slowly rebuilt, with last year’s effort a testament to the resilience and strength of the Club. Still, we will need more willing bodies, as First Division will be a real challenge, but one that the current group of players are very keen for.’
With pre-season training soon to commence under the idyllic skies and vistas of Byron Bay, the old faithful are now stirring and cleaning off the mud from last year’s boots. With several good pre-season trial games lined up, Byron Bay Rugby is aiming to make its presence felt in First Division, bringing its dynamic game and open, friendly and internationally flavoured culture back to the top level of far north coast Rugby.
For those wishing to join Byron Rugby as a player, sponsor or supporter in the coming year, contact the Club through secretary Fay Corson on [email protected]