Old Boys ready for rugby trial
RUGBY Old Boys from all over the Downs are expected to gather in Dalby later this month to watch the Reds do battle with arch rivals the Waratahs in a trial match.
Queensland will host their Super Rugby rivals on Friday, January 24 in what Downs Rugby Board director Chris Bell said is the first time the Reds have played in the Western Downs and the first regional trial match in 10 years.
Chris said like the annual grand final and Golden Oldies competition, this would be a chance for former players to get together and relive their playing days.
"We expect people to come from around the region from St George, Goondiwindi, Condamine and Warwick," he said.
The stories are sure to come thick and fast during the first event of the day - a sportsman's lunch at the Dalby Event Centre from 12.30-4.30pm, with the game at Dalby Leagues Club from 7.30pm.
With guests coming from such a vast area, Chris said the lunch would be as much about catching up with old mates as listening to guest speakers Tim Horan, Stephen Moore and Garrick Morgan.
Chris said the Reds visit would be a major boost for the drought-stricken area, both financially and for morale.
"Firstly this is about taking rugby to the bush," he said.
"And secondly, it should be a major boost, injecting money into the economy through restaurants, room nights etc. It will give the area a reason to get together, and give them some entertainment."
Queensland Rugby Union is partnering with Rural Aid during the Reds tour of regions to raise money for Queensland communities affected by the drought.
While pleased to see the region hosting the Waratahs trial, Chris said rugby was important to the Downs, and older members of the community played a major part in running local competitions, serving on boards and helping off field.
He said there was also a "semi-regular" Golden Oldies competition in the area for those who still wanted to play.
Downs Rugby general manager Matthew Hammond said anyone interested in tickets or finding out more about volunteering at local clubs or playing Golden Oldies should head to the Downs Rugby website at downsrugby.com.au or phone 4633 7733.