The local rugby season may have come to an end, but the game isn’t over for Quirindi Lions’ Hamish Dunbar and Georgie Moore as they head to the Sunshine State to contest the Australian Rugby Shield.
With a tree change from the big smoke, Hamish moved to Tamworth earlier this year and found himself playing for Quirindi with his love for the sport a driving force behind his good form, a sentiment he has carried all year.
“I am really focused on enjoying footy and doing it for the experience and meeting a great bunch of blokes, and hopefully we come away with a win.” said Hamish.
This is the 28 years old’s first-time selection for the NSW Country Cockatoos, a big honour and achievement to his footy career, as he looked to pull on the number 7 jersey across the tournament.
“We have Perth tomorrow which will be one of our tougher games, but we have had a lot of chatter and a few trainings runs so we are pretty well prepared.” said Hamish.
And there must be something to be said about the flanker position in Quirindi, with the women’s number 7, Georgia Moore, also making her debut at the Shield tomorrow night.
“It’s a great feeling to be selected after a challenging return to the game,” said Georgia.
“I had a shoulder reconstruction last year and I have been working hard towards this goal.”
“Playing the country championship in Tamworth earlier this year and making the final squad after a trial was an amazing feeling and I have been training nonstop to be in the best possible form going into this week ahead.”
Out of the squad of 27 girls, four will sit out each game with Georgie keen to earn her field time, and show what regional NSW has to offer despite being a team that has only met once before.
“I am keen to get into it, play some rugby and hopefully come away with the win and make the grand final game.” said Georgia.
“It has been a great journey so far and I look forward to what’s at the end.”
The New England region has several players heading north to show off their talent this week, including:
Cockatoos- Dan Calavassy (Quirindi Lions), Andrew Collins (Tamworth Pirates), Hamish Dunbar (Quirindi Lions), and Henry Leslie (Walcha Rams).
Corellas- Emmy Barr (Gunnedah Red Devils), Paige Leonard (Tamworth Magpies), Georgia Moore (Quirindi Lions), Tahlia Morgan (St Alberts College), and Piper Rankmore (Gunnedah Red Devils).
Cockatoo Colts- Darcy Booth (Armidale Barbarians)
The teams will have a final training run this afternoon ahead of the competition, one last chance to stretch the legs and test out some on field combinations.
Can’t get there to watch? All games will be streamed on Rugby Xplorer.
Wednesday 27th September
4:30pm NSWC Cockatoos v Perth Gold
7:30pm NSWC Corellas v SA Black Falcons
Friday 29th September
12pm NSWC Corellas v ACT & SNSW Kestrels
7:30pm NSWC Cockatoos v SA Falcons
Saturday 30th September
12pm NSWC Corella v ADF
3pm NSWC Cockatoos v TAS Jack Jumpers
Monday 2nd October- Finals