The 2023 Junior Australian Championships has kicked off in Coffs Harbour, with the West Sydney Tigercubs leading the race for region champions.
It was an incredible first day of competition at C.ex Stadium as players took the field with energy to burn – determined to showcase their months of preparation.
The skill and sheer tenacity on display proved just that, and made for a spectacular atmosphere on day one.
NRL and NRLW legends, Josh Reynolds and Sam Bremner were amongst all the action today – taking photos, signing autographs and enjoying the level of talent across the park.
At the conclusion of Friday’s round games, West Sydney Tigers are leading the race for Region Champions, with 8 teams across the 18 divisions sitting at the top of their table. Central Coast and Steelers trail close behind.
The following teams currently sit undefeated, putting them in a promising position heading into day two.
Keep up to date with all live results and fixtures via Sportfix.
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AO look forward to what’s in store tomorrow, and wish all teams the best of luck as they lay it all on the line ahead of Sunday’s finals.
Australian Oztag are pleased to announce the recent inductions into the Australian Oztag Hall of Fame: Justin Brown, Karen Breaden and Ross Thomas.
Australian Oztag (AO) congratulate the 2023 Hall of Fame inductees – Justin Brown, Karen Breaden and Ross Thomas, who have been recognised for their outstanding service to the Australian Tagaroos and the game of Oztag.
In August, Justin, Karen and Ross all attended the 2023 ITF Tag World Cup in Ireland where their achievement was announced at the official Australian Tagaroos function.
It was an incredible opportunity for the Australian Tagaroos squad to acknowledge and honour their many accolades over the years.
Representative region: East Coast Dolphins
Years of Service: 18 years
Justin Brown first represented the Tagaroos in 2001 and has continued to play for Australia for 18 years. He has progressed from the Mens 30’s through to the Mens 50’s, recognised for his strong leadership and unwavering sportsmanship. He has also contributed to the sport in coaching local juniors and captain-coaching his local, state and national senior teams.
Representative region: ACT Cougars
Years of Service: 16 years
Karen Breaden of the ACT Cougars region first represented the Tagaroos in 2003 and has continued to do so for 16 years as a Coach. She has been recognised for her thorough knowledge of the game and unwavering commitment to her players. Karen has become a true ambassador for the sport, embodying the spirit of dedication, sportsmanship, and leadership.
Representative region: Illawarra Steelers
Years of Service: 16 years
Ross Thomas of the Illawarra Steelers region first represented the Tagaroos in 2003 and has continued to represent his country for 16 years. As both a player and coach, Ross leads with commitment and passion. His humour, sportsmanship and genuine encouragement makes him a highly valued member of the Oztag community.
With only 20 people coming before them, it is a great achievement and one that is highly respected among the Oztag community.
Australian Tagaroos historian and long-serving Hall of Famer, Gary Kinkade commended the recipients on their achievement.
“Justin, Ross and Karen are so deserving of this honour due to their incredible and dedicated service to Australian Oztag and in particular the Australian Tagaroos,” Kinkade said.
“All three are true ambassadors of our great game and have represented the Tagaroos for 18, 16 and 16 years respectively,”
“They continue to assist, support and represent the game at the grass roots, National and International level,” Kinkade said.
Congratulations to Justin, Karen and Ross on their worthy induction into the Australian Oztag Hall of Fame.
Our Australian Tagaroos have returned home following an incredibly successful campaign in Ireland for the 2023 ITF Tag World Cup, with 11 teams crowned World Champions.
At the beginning of August, our Australian Tagaroos travelled across the world for the highly anticipated 2023 ITF Tag World Cup (TWC).
The tournament was held at the University of Limerick in Ireland, from August 2 – 5, marking history as the first TWC to take place in the Northern Hemisphere.
Australian Oztag (AO) were incredibly proud to send a record 14 teams to Ireland, with players from all across the country selected from the 2022 Senior Australian Championships.
The spectacle that was the Opening Ceremony took place on August 1, where our Tagaroos Club Captains and Vice Captains were proud flag bearers, before our Men’s 30s kicked off the tournament in the opening match against host nation, Ireland.
Club Captains: Amy Spence (Women’s 30s) and Brendan Martin (Men’s Opens)
Vice-Captains: Amy Helm (Women’s 30s) and Adam Carlisle (Men’s 40s)
In cold, wet conditions, games commenced on August 2 – the energy and pride shown by all competing nations, both players and spectators was remarkable.
The spirit of the competition was matched by the camaraderie amongst all competitors, with plenty of photos, hugs, handshakes and playing gear exchanged after all games.
Following an action-packed four days and an average of 7-9 games played by each team, the ITF Tag World Cup Champions were crowned.
Across the 13 divisions, all Australian Tagaroos sides qualified for the Grand Final and 11 teams claimed the World title.
2023 ITF Tag World Cup Grand Final results:
Men’s 21s: Australia defeated New Zealand Exiles 8 – 2
Women’s 21s: Australia defeated New Zealand Exiles 10 – 2
Mixed 21s: ITF Alliance defeated Australia 9-7
Men’s Opens: Australia defeated Lebanon 9 – 2
Women’s Opens: Australia defeated Great Britain 5 – 1
Mixed Opens: Australia defeated New Zealand Exiles 6 – 5
Men’s 30s: Australia defeated Ireland 4 – 2
Women’s 30s: Great Britain defeated Australia 5 – 1
Mixed Seniors: Australia defeated Great Britain 11 – 2
Men’s 40s: Australia defeated Ireland 11 – 1
Women’s 40s: Australia defeated Ireland 5 – 1
Men’s 50s: Australia defeated Great Britain Exiles 11 – 2
Men’s 60s: Australia Green defeated Australia Gold 1 – 0
Congratulations to all teams on an exceptional achievement.
AO’s National Director of Coaching and Development, Michael Buettner commended all players and coaches on their achievements.
“Congratulations should go to all the teams who took out their respective divisions and their coaching staff for their outstanding efforts,” Buettner said.
“Their achievements should not be underestimated and it was great to see all our Tagaroos players leave the tournament with either a Gold or Silver Medal,” he said.
Special mention goes to the following Tagaroos sides who went through the tournament undefeated.
“I know after what happened in Ireland earlier this month, the spark is well and truly lit for all players to aim towards the 2026 World Cup where our Tagaroos will be striving for continued success,” Buettner said.
Big thank you to our Australian team medic, Graeme Wallace who went above and beyond to ensure our players were fit and able to take the field every day.
Thank you to all Sponsors – individual and team – for your support of our Australian Tagaroos.
Livestream games are still available to watch on Youtube.