Shute Shield season abandoned with Penrith set to be kicked out of 2022 competition


“All it has done is cause angst, pain and suffering.”

McColl pointed the finger squarely at the eastern bloc which drove the reform.

“All of the strong clubs just want to play each other. They don’t want to go to Penrith,” he said.

“Parramatta were invited to give a presentation to the SRU board, Newcastle were invited to give a presentation to the SRU board. But Penrith’s invitation obviously went astray in the mail.

“We were totally blindsided.”

Part of the reason the Emus are now extinct is the SRU’s decision to save the Western Sydney Two Blues, who may rebrand to become the Greater Western Sydney Two Blues in the very near future.

West Harbour have also survived, allaying fears rugby will be killed in the city’s western suburbs.


But McColl – who was asked to join a new advisory group which will strive to make the Two Blues a force – does not believe any of the thousands of Penrith juniors will ever play rugby again.

“Where do you think the hundreds of thousands – soon to be millions – of people are going to go? Rugby league, obviously,” he said.

“Everybody I talk to, whether they’re a rugby person or not, they ask why (the SRU) would do something stupid like that.

“They’re not interested in soccer, they’re not interested in Aussie rules. They’ll either play rugby or rugby league. They see Parramatta as the enemy now. They won’t be playing there.

“As a business decision, it is absolutely ridiculous.”

The SRU confirmed Penrith’s departure in a statement on Friday afternoon.

“Penrith Emus will not be awarded a participation agreement,” the statement read.

“The SRU would like to take this opportunity to thank the Penrith Emus, their board, management, coaches, volunteers, and players for their efforts in being part of Sydney Premier Rugby since they joined in 1995.

“We appreciate the strength of the local Penrith junior program in the region and will work with NSWRU to find ways to provide pathways for local juniors to stay engaged with rugby within the wider GWS district and the Western Sydney Two Blues.”

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