Newly appointed Melbourne Rebels captain Dane Haylett-Petty has admitted his squad is exited to replicate their 2019 success over the Brumbies when they head to Albury this Thursday for their final trial game.
“The Brumbies are a great team. Obviously, they played finals footy last year; we got over them twice though in the season. We started the season really well and we’re looking to do that again this year,” admitted Haylett-Petty.
More than just a chance to fine-tune their on field game, Haylett-Petty sees the tour as an opportunity to inspire the region with the game they play in heaven.
“It’s a chance for us to do a little bit for the community up there. Obviously everyone wants to do a bit and give something back with a few fundraisers and some kids coaching clinics.
“I know a lot of the boys are excited about that.”
The Rebels final trial game of 2020 will see the Super Rugby side ‘go bush’ in an effort to take the game of rugby to regional communities that have been hit hard by recent bush fires.
Beyond the two trial matches the Rebels will play against the Brumbies, the squad will be mingling with locals and taking in the best the region has to offer on their three-day tour, whilst assisting in efforts to support a community affected by recent bushfires.
Local community organisations have banded together in support of the NSW RFS volunteers to support the brigades that were closely affected by the tragedies during the Green Valley Fire in the Upper Murray on the 30th December 2019.
One of the efforts undertaken by the community is the initiative of the Albury Steamers Rugby Union Club to host a sportsman’s lunch and fundraiser on Thursday 24th January, prior to the trial match.
“The club has approached me and asked if it was ok for them to raise some money for a couple of the rural based fire brigades that were affected by the injuries to the five fire fighters and the sad loss of Fire Fighter Samuel McPaul.” Said Supt. Westwood.
“The Steamers have managed to get together some amazing packages thanks to the Super Rugby teams of the ACT Brumbies, Melbourne Rebels and Rugby Australia; there are special ticket packages to Bledisloe Cup matches, Super Rugby games and merchandise and some beautiful Aboriginal artwork that will be auctioned off.
“The funds raised will go to the Culcairn North West, Morven, Back Creek and Lankeys Creek Rural Fire Brigades” Said the Steamers Clubman, Mick Redfern.
“We will also be allowing free entry to CFA & RFS volunteers to the trial game on Thursday afternoon/evening at Greenfield Park. It’s just our way of saying thankyou and allowing those who have worked so hard to have a night off” said Mick Redfern.
“Obviously our volunteers have been doing it very tough since the 29th December last year and we are very grateful to have the support of some of the biggest sporting teams in the country.
“There is a lot of synergy between the teamwork required on the field or the fire ground and it’s a very nice gesture from the rugby union community and Rugby Australia to think of us’ Said Supt. Westwood.
With FOX Sports choosing to launch the 2020 Super Rugby season hours before the trial match, even more eyes will be on the region. Albury will be front and centre during a one hour telecast when FOX Sports host Greg Clarke interviews the respective Rebels and Brumbies coaches and captains live from Greenfield Park.
The national telecast will feature interviews with newly appointed Wallabies coach Dave Rennie and officially launch the 2020 Super Rugby season.
The Fundraiser is being held at the Albury Club, Kiewa St from 12pm-3pm on Thursday 23rd January. Limited tickets still available, please contact Mick Redfern on 0428 235 588. More details at www.facebook.com/awrufc
Gates open at 12pm at Greenfield Park, Alma St, Albury. First game at 3:45pm, main game kick off at 6:15pm. Tickets available at gate $20 and RFS/CFA members & children are free!