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4 May, 2022

Classic Wallabies out West

Last month, a few Gilgandra locals played rugby union against the classic Wallabies and Wallaroos, at the Classic Wallabies out West event in Coonamble.

By Emily Middleton

Consisting of ex-Wallaroo and ex- Wallabies players, the teams versed the Western Plains Women, and the Western Plains Barbarians.

Caitlynn King from Gilgandra was on the Western Plains Women team, and said she had a lot of fun, despite being nervous.

“It was the first game of the year, because all our trainings kept getting cancelled, either washed out or COVID. So we hadn’t had a training run, and I didn’t know anyone,” said Miss King.

Miss King plays for the Flamin’ Galah’s Gular rugby union touch team, and has played union before.

“I played at school, and in my gap year I played in Dubbo, but it’s been a little while. We were all asked if there were people that were keen, so I put my hand up!

“I had no idea what I was in for at all. Once I got out there and got the first tackle out of the way then I was right. It was so much fun,” said Miss King.

Contact rugby isn’t easily accessible to women past Dubbo, so Miss King was ecstatic with the opportunity to play.

“It is good for the girls in this area, these sorts of opportunities aren’t present. If I want to play contact, I have to go to Dubbo which is alright for me, but girls in Bourke and Brewarrina, their closest is still Dubbo. That’s so far away. There’s nothing for the girls – yet,” she said.

But Miss King believes that days like these gives female union players the chance to give contact ago, so the need for more competitions can be addressed.

“It’s starting to get momentum now, and I don’t think it’ll be long that there will be a contact competition out this way,” said Miss King.

The Classic Wallaroos were great to play against, said Miss King, despite being difficult to pull down.

“They were so nice, and so helpful. They weren’t out there to smash us, they were out there to help the girls get into the game and they wanted them to enjoy it,” said Miss King.

“But they were proper rugby players. It took three of us to pull down one of them. When they walked out on the field we all went, oh my.” T

he Western Plains Women lost to the Classic Wallaroos by a try.

“No one was really keeping score, it was just for the charity day. But I did hear that we only lost by a try which was really good though, for a group of girls that were just pulled together and met literally on the field. We did really well actually.”

The teams are set to play again a few more times throughout the year. Locals Grant Zell, Will Bowman, Mark Colwell and Curtis O’Connor were also chosen as part of the day’s play.

The event was in aid of the Coonamble and District Education Foundation.

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