In the wake of the COVID-19 lock down period in Queensland, the state’s top club Rugby competition – the Allsports Physiotherapy Hospital Challenge Cup – will resume this Saturday, August 1.
Ahead of Round 1 this weekend, Healthia Limited have today been unveiled as the naming rights partner of the competition for 2020 and 2021. Healthia are an integrated group of health-based companies, whose brands include Allsports Physiotherapy, My Foot Dr, Extend Rehabilitation and Access Ortho.
Healthia have aligned Allsports Physiotherapy with the Hospital Challenge Cup and as such the competition will be referred to as the Allsports Physiotherapy Hospital Challenge Cup.
“Allsports Physiotherapy has a long and proud history of supporting grassroots Rugby in Queensland,” said Healthia’s Group chief operating officer Tony Ganter.
“In 2020 we are happy to continue our support of community-based Rugby, with injury prevention and rehabilitation advice in what has been a challenging year for all Queenslanders and Queensland Rugby players and supporters. We are excited about the season commencing this weekend”
Reserves and medical staff at each club will be supplied with bibs and vests to help with match management at each Premier Rugby club, which will display the various Healthia Ltd businesses logo’s, whilst the Allsports physios will provide injury prevention and recovery advice to teams via social media.
Healthia’s partnership with Queensland Rugby Union (QRU) extends beyond Premier Rugby, and south-east Queensland clubs will be provided with injury report books, free of charge. Brisbane Junior Rugby Union (BJRU) will also benefit from the partnership, with clubs to be supplied with bibs and vests for field marshals, club officials, medics and trainers.
The return of Hospital Challenge Cup has been long awaited, with the competition postponed in the week leading into the scheduled start of the season on March 25.
A lot of work has gone in behind the scenes to reach this milestone, with club general managers and presidents working collaboratively behind the scenes.
QRU’s head of game development Gaven Head said: “Our Queensland Premier Rugby clubs have come together over the last few months and have collaboratively worked towards a return to play.
“There have been weekly meetings with the general managers at each club, each of whom have worked together to guide their respective clubs and the competition as a whole back to this point.
“We’ve also worked closely with other sports in submissions to the State Government, which has ensured that Rugby has been at the forefront of policies and procedures that have allowed our clubs to successfully return to training over the last few weeks.
“While the pandemic has been devastating in many respects, there are some positives to draw from the experience with innovations in the way we engage and connect with our Rugby community that will allow us to better service our affiliates and stakeholders as we move forward.
“With regional competitions returning to play over the past few weeks, Queensland Premier Rugby is one of our last competitions to return to action and I know players and coaches alike are keen to take to the field this weekend.”
Former Wallabies skipper Ben Mowen, who is preparing for his first full season for Easts since the early 2000s is looking forward to a return to play, and seeing some of the young talent on show.
“On a personal note I’m really excited because I haven’t had a full season down at Easts since about 2003 or 2004,” said Mowen.
“It’s been a long time between drinks, but it’s been nice and refreshing to be around the young guys and obviously pretty excited for the season. Like everyone, it’s been a long pre-season now and we’re ready to get into it.
“There’s definitely a massive wave of talent coming through club Rugby and from what I’ve seen there’s a lot of guys there who could step up to that next level, all they need is that opportunity and then they’ll get to that point. It’s going to be exciting to see the way they play this year and I’m sure there’s some representative honours waiting for a few guys out in clubland.”
The Round 1 Hospital Challenge Cup matches are as follows:
GPS v Wests, Yoku Road, 3:30pm (Match of the Round)
FULL DRAW: https://qld.rugby/competitions/senior-rugby/senior-competitions
Norths v University of Queensland, Hugh Courtney Oval, 3:30pm
Easts v Sunnybank, Sunnybank Rugby Club, 3:30pm
Souths v Brothers, Chipsy Wood Oval, 3:30pm
BYE: Bond University
All four matches will be streamed with the assistance of our live stream partners DoubleTake Sports, and can be viewed via the Qld.Rugby website.