Ruawai team Australia-bound

Back, from left: Daniel Fenney, Ryan Hassall, Hayden Sanford, Jacob Burton, Rico Connelly, Mahia Neho-Poutai, Luke Bracey. Front: Daniel Grbin, Malakai Neho-Poutai, Laine Hickey, Brent Hick, Cameron Bracey, Michael Fenney

A long-standing biannual rugby trip to Australia will see the Ruawai U13 boys team playing three games in New South Wales this week.
Tour manager Corey Hopkins said the boys had been training hard since the end of January and organisation for the big trip had been a “two year process.”

The tour is with the Northern Barbarians team (formerly Cherrybrook Beecroft) and contains an element of friendly rivalry from the long-standing tradition.

“Last year they travelled to Ruawai, now it’s our turn to head over. We’ve been fundraising for the last two years and that has involved a lot of silage stacks, picking up hay, a fundraising dinner and a casino night,” said Corey.

The majority of the Ruawai U13 team are local lads, with a few members from nearby Arapohue and Dargaville making up the 15-strong squad.

The first game for the team will be held in the Blue Mountains against the Blue Tongue Rugby Club on April 20.

While away Corey has put time aside to allow the boys to attend a dawn service on Anzac Day as well as fitting in sightseeing in the Blue Mountains, a theme park and visiting the Sydney Opera House.

“The kids are super excited and we are all feeling ready to go. We are really thankful for the many sponsors who have contributed and helped get the kids for this year’s tour,” he said.

To keep updated on the team’s progress while abroad, follow their Facebook page, 2017 Ruawai JMB Aussie Tour.



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