The next generation of rugby talent showed off their skills in Campbelltown on Wednesday.
More than 70 children headed along to the junior rugby union clinic at Campbelltown Showground.
The event was hosted by the Campbelltown Harlequins Rugby Club.
A professional player from the NSW Waratahs was scheduled to attend Wednesday’s clinic.
However, an unforeseen personal situation meant Waratahs centre Lalakai Foketi had to withdraw at the last minute.
As compensation, the Waratahs have given out family passes to all clinic participants to attend the club’s next Super Rugby contest.
The Waratahs will host the Highlanders in a quarter-final this Saturday at Allianz Stadium.
All juniors have also been invited to form a guard of honour for the Super Rugby players before they run onto the field.
Despite the setback, Harlequins director of junior rugby Adam Campbell said the event was a success.
Participants took part in game simulation practise and some trust-building exercises.
These exercises included to helping to lead a blind-folded friend through an obstacle course.
Campbell said the event was designed to build friendships in a fun environment.
“It’s predominantly about kids getting their hand on a footy during the school holidays,” he said.
“The kids have been really getting into the spirit of the day.
“The best advertisement we can do for the game is for people to see kids playing rugby union.”
Campbell said the clinic attracted players from Macarthur, Illawarra, and as far away as the Blue Mountains, Oakley and Rockdale.
He said schools and rugby union clubs were both represented on the day.
“We have kids who have been making NSW rugby league squads suddenly registering to play rugby union,” Campbell said.
Campbelltown’s Lorima Cosgrave is one junior who came from a rugby league background.
Lorima signed up for the Campbelltown Harlequins at the start of 2018 and is now viewed as a leader in his under-11s team.
He said he enjoyed taking part in Wednesday’s clinic.
“It’s been a good experience, we’ve done game simulation situations such as pick and drives today,” Lorima said.
Lorima said he loved playing rugby union with his friends.
“Rugby union is more fun than rugby league because you can strip the ball and properly contest scrums.”