Western Suburbs RFC (Wests) and Wellington College Old Boys & Victoria University of Wellington RFC (OBU), have commenced preliminary discussions with a view to ensuring Wellington city and its western suburbs are serviced by a strong and vibrant rugby club with a clear pathway from junior rugby to college/university and senior/premier rugby.
OBU Chairman Jaesen Sumner said, “Wests has a proud and distinguished history in Wellington club rugby but have recently experienced a decline in senior playing numbers. At the same time they have maintained one of the largest junior club playing bases in New Zealand. As a result of these changes Wests and Wellington College Old Boys & Victoria University of Wellington RFC (OBU), who share a similar geographic catchment and historic player base, are in discussion to explore how they could cooperate to ensure a positive outcome for rugby in Wellington city and its western suburbs.
Tony Walsh, Wests’ Chairman said, “While it is early days we believe there could be considerable mutual benefit from forging a closer association between the two entities, and one outcome could be the two agreeing to become one Club that combines the strength of both Wests and OBU.
“While these discussions are ongoing it will be business as usual for each club as the 2014 playing season heats up.”
Both Clubs will shortly embark on consultation with their members to ensure that they are well informed about the options and that there is broad support for the outcome that is reached.
Tony Walsh said, “It is too early to predict what the outcome of these discussions will be. That said, change is inevitable as the status quo is not working. Our strength is that we’re currently one of the largest junior rugby clubs in the country and OBU are one of the largest senior clubs with similar numbers; so there are clear synergies from a closer alliance.”
Monday 5 May 2014