Rugby Union in Riverina receives boost ahead of Rugby World Cup

Thu, Apr 6, 2023, 3:57 AM
Classic Wallabies
by Classic Wallabies
Dozens of rugby legends will descend on Wagga Wagga and the surrounding region over three action-packed days in May, to support junior rugby players in the region.

The Classic Wallabies and Classic Wallaroos have been invited by Wagga Wagga Crows Junior Rugby Union to tour the region and deliver a series of activities to help the local club grow awareness and raise funds for their junior rugby programs.

The visit will take place from 25 to 27 May 2023. A number of experienced Classic Wallabies such as Mark Gerrard (Wallaby #797, 24 caps), Scott Higginbotham (Wallaby #848, 34 caps) and Digby Ioane (Wallaby #818, 35 caps.) have confirmed their attendance, with more to be announced over the coming weeks.

On Thursday 25th players will visit a range of towns including West Wyalong, Griffith, Albury and Tumut to conduct coaching clinics at clubs and schools.

On Friday 26th May Wagga Wagga Crows Junior Rugby Club is staging a corporate golf day at Wagga Wagga Country Club. Individuals and groups can register to play a round  alongside a former Wallabies or Wallaroos legend, with a fundraising dinner to follow that evening.

The pinnacle of the tour is on Saturday 27th May, when the Classic Wallabies and Classic Wallaroos teams will headline a rugby gala day with matches against invitational Southern Inland Rugby Union representative teams.

Classic Wallabies General Manager Morgan Turinui is thrilled to visit Wagga Wagga this May.

“We’re grateful for the invitation to visit Wagga Wagga and a number of towns throughout the Riverina this May. We know that the region has a rich sporting history and look forward to meeting as many people as possible over the three days”.

“2023 is a huge year for Australian rugby with the World Cup in France this September & October. We expect the activities in Wagga to launch our build up to the event”

Wagga Wagga Crows Junior Rugby Club Vice President and Organising Committee Chairperson Drew Hawkins outlined the motivation behind the upcoming activities.

“We’re really looking forward to hosting the Classic Wallaroos and Wallabies in our region over the weekend 25-27 May.”

“Given the challenges that all football codes and sports face when it comes to participation particularly through the teen years, we want to showcase rugby as a fun and inclusive game for all ages.”

“Whilst Wagga Crows are hosting the Classics, our Southern Inland region as a whole will benefit from the visits. Classics team members will visit centres across the region to run workshops to build skills and engage junior players.”

“By providing fun and memorable rugby experiences, the Wagga Crows are looking to keep kids engaged, and develop their skills in both sport and life, all whilst having fun with their mates.” 

“We have some exciting things planned for our junior club including the development of future rugby tours to grow and engage our club with clubs nationally and across the Pacific region.”

“The Classic Wallaroos and Classic Wallabies have been fantastic to support the growth and development of rugby in the region and we are looking forward to their visit in May.”

Brumbies Rugby development officers and staff will be actively involved in the program of events, providing skills & drills for junior players as well as upskilling coaches.

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Preliminary Classic Wallabies squad (in alphabetical order):

Rod Davies (Wallaby #849, 1 cap. Bio)

Nick Frisby (Wallaby #894, 5 caps. Bio)

Mark Gerrard (Wallaby #797, 24 caps. Bio)

Mike Harris (Wallaby #855, 10 caps.)

Justin Harrison (Wallaby #770, 34 caps. Bio)

Scott Higginbotham (Wallaby #848, 34 caps. Bio)

Digby Ioane (Wallaby #818, 35 caps.)

Patrick McCutcheon (Australia 7s, Australia Schools, Australia U19s, NSW Waratahs)

Patrick Phibbs (Australia A, ACT Brumbies)

Beau Robinson (Wallaby #852, 1 cap. Bio)

Morgan Turinui (Wallaby #782, 20 caps. Bio)

Lachie Turner (Wallaby #826, 15 caps. Bio)

Laurie Weeks (Wallaby #882, 2 caps. Bio)

More to be announced over the coming weeks.

About Classic Wallabies

The Classic Wallabies are the alumni of all male and female Australian rugby union players that have retired from the game, having represented Australia internationally in either 15’s, 10’s or 7’s formats. A network of over 500 living retired players that remain connected, and unite for various events and activities. The Classic Wallabies  provide support, camaraderie, and community to all members, and aim to develop and strengthen the sport of rugby at grassroots level across Australia by supporting clubs, state unions, Rugby Australia and associated organisations.

About Wagga Wagga Crows Junior Rugby Union

The Wagga Crows play in the Southern Inland Rugby Union (SIRU) junior competition. They field teams in Under 6s to Under 16s boys and Under 10s Girls to Under 17s Girls age groups. The other teams in this competition are: Hay, Tumut, Albury, Griffith, Leeton, Temora, Young, West Wyalong, Grenfell and Cootamundra. Our teams participate in SIRU Gala Days which are generally fortnightly from April through to early August.


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