How an early finish to Super Rugby could change the 2019 Shute Shield season
Changes to the international rugby calendar will likely have a fairly dramatic impact on the remainder of the 2019 Shute Shield season.
For the first time in a number of years, Test matches won’t be played in June and the final round of the Super Rugby regular season will line up with round 11 of the Shute Shield.
While some Super Rugby players will join an extended Wallabies squad to prepare for the World Cup and others will be given a bit of time off, a number will likely return to their clubs and could play as many as six regular season games before the finals.
Even those in and around the Wallabies squad may spend time at their clubs to retain match fitness in the months ahead.
In recent weeks, a number of Melbourne Rebels players also began turning out for club sides in Sydney, which adds to the intrigue.
Here’s a look at some of the players from the Waratahs and Rebels that could be returning for your team at the back end of this season.
Eastern Suburbs – Lalakai Foketi, Mack Mason, Ryan McCauley, Alex Newsome, Tom Staniforth, Cody Walker, Sione Tuipulotu.
Eastwood – Damien Fitzpatrick, Hugh Roach
Gordon – Jack Dempsey, Robbie Abel, Jordan Uelese
Manly – Le Roux Roets
Randwick – Ned Hanigan, Mitch Short, Harrison Goddard, Rob Simmons
Norths – Cam Clark, Will Miller, Michael Wells, Andrew Tuala
Southern Districts – Jed Holloway, Curtis Rona, Shambeckler Vui
Sydney Uni – Jake Gordon, Harry Johnson-Holmes, Lachie Swinton, Chris Talakai, Brad Wilkin, Matt Philip
Warringah – Rory O’Connor, Mees Erasmus