Complete guide to the 2021 GPS Rugby Season
The 2021 GPS season kicks off in Sydney this weekend and it appears to be one of the more even competitions we’ve seen in recent years.
All six GPS schools have recorded a number of impressive trial results and will like their chances going into the opening weekend of fixtures before the representative and school holiday break.
To kick start our comprehensive coverage of the 2021 GPS competition, we caught up with the coaches ahead of round one to get the inside word on the season ahead.
Round 1: Scots v Kings; Riverview v Shore; Newington v Joeys
A new look and youthful Kings’ outfit learnt a few hard truths through the trial season but have come out the other end, a tougher and more resilient rugby side.
Co-coach Hugh Perrett thinks his side has the most growth in them of any team in the GPS competition this year and seems confident his boys will be in the mix throughout the 2021 season.
Overview with Hugh Perrett:
“We’re going well now and I think we’re building slowly. We played our best game of the season against Newington on the weekend. It’s still a work in progress and we’ve got plenty of improvement in us but I’m fairly confident it’ll come together,” Perrett told Rugby News.
After failing to find their best in 2020, Riverview return with one of their most experienced squads in recent memory in 2021.
Anthony Cook’s side beat an impressive Barker side last weekend and appear to be building nicely ahead of round one.
Overview with Anthony Cook:
“We’ve had quite a positive trial period and we play Joeys in our final trial this weekend, which will give us a good indication of where we are at,” Cook told Rugby News.
Joeys first XV coaches Tim Andersen and Greg Thompson believe this year’s GPS competition could be the closest in the past 10 years.
Their squad consists of boys across years 10, 11 and 12 and look to be right on the pace after a strong trial period which culminates with a clash against neighbours Riverview on Saturday.
Overview with Tim Andersen:
“We’re really happy with how we have performed over the last six weeks or so. We’ve built each week in the areas that we have wanted to and are starting to execute at the levels we are aiming for,” first XV coach Tim Andersen told Rugby News.
Scots will be looking to return to the top of the GPS premiership for the first time since 2017 but will need to overcome some inconsistent trial form.
The Bellevue Hill side are yet to record two back to back wins this season and were beaten by both Riverview and Joeys in the trials.
Scots did record wins over Kings, Newington and Shore through the trials and open their season against Kings this weekend.
A young but talented Shore squad have spent the past few months focussing on their defence under new coach Hadley Jackson, who previously coached Randwick’s first grade Shute Shield side.
Jackson said he’s been pleased by his side’s development in recent weeks and is confident his team will be in the mix this season.
Overview with Hadley Jackson:
“We’re all really excited for round one this weekend. It’s a bit strange that we’ll play one game and then have four or five weeks off before playing the rest of our matches but we’re really looking forward to having a crack in round one and then we’ll assess where we are at and go again,” Jackson told Rugby News.
“We’ve had a number of really good hit outs in the trials. We’ve played a combination of CAS and GPS schools and we played Scots on the weekend.”
A fast and mobile Newington side will look to run their opposition ragged under new first XV coach Tim Rapp.
A number of players return from last year’s shortened campaign and will be joined by plenty of exciting young talent in the top squad.
Overview with Tim Rapp:
“We’re really excited about the start of the GPS competition this weekend. We’ve played some tough, physical trials and I think that will prove to be really beneficial for our boys, particularly ahead of this weekend’s clash against Joeys,” Rapp told Rugby News.
“We’ve been missing one of our key players through the trials due to injury but the boys who have filled in for him have done a great job.”