Tahs build links with army for a good cause

GOING GREEN: Paul Ferguson, Alicia Bloom, Sean Kearns and Beau Cox show the special jumpers Waratahs will wear against Griffith on Saturday.

GOING GREEN: Paul Ferguson, Alicia Bloom, Sean Kearns and Beau Cox show the special jumpers Waratahs will wear against Griffith on Saturday.

Kapooka will host its first Southern Inland game in years when Waratahs play host to Griffith at the army base on Saturday.

The game has been transferred from Conolly Rugby Complex to help celebrate the Wagga club’s growing relationship with the barracks.

Number eight Sean Kearns, who is part of the army, will lead the charge on the field in a forward pack missing plenty of personnel.

Only Kearns, James Daley and Joe Mullany will take their place in the pack from last year’s grand final win.

Injuries are the biggest problem with Sam Bunny and Jock Munro both not named to play.

It means Tony Ritchie comes in at hooker with Tom Adamson joining Charlie Sykes at flanker.

Xavier Chigwidden has also moved to five-eighth for Euan Bonner.

Despite the changes Kearns is confident the team can once again come out on top.

“It’s been a bit of a battlefield on Saturdays and at trainings over the last couple of weeks and injuries and personal commitments are starting to take its toll,” Kearns said.

“But equally we have great depth that has been able to step up and fill the boots of a number of the traditional first graders that aren’t taking the field this weekend.”

However with so many players out, Kearns is expecting a big test against Griffith.

While the Blacks are yet to taste success this season, after putting in a big effort against Leeton Kearns believes they’ll lift once more.

“We are anticipating a tough and robust Griffith outfit that did an incredible job against the ladder leaders Leeton last Friday night,” he said.

The club will also wear special army-inspired green jumpers for the occasion to help raise funds for Kurrajong Therapy Plus.

The group focuses on delivering programs for children who have developmental delays and disabilities.

Kearns believes they are a very worthy cause and taking on the Blacks was a good link with Kurrajong Therapy Plus offering services in both Wagga and Griffith.

He also believes the day will strengthen the ties between Waratahs and the recessed Riverina Army Rugby Club.

Waratahs women’s seven team will also get into the spirit and wear different jumpers as well.

Their game has been moved to be the precursor to first grade and will start at 2.40pm.

Ian Mawson was on hand at training on Thursday night for the jumper presentation.

They will be up for grabs at Romano’s after the game alongside a silent auction featuring plenty of sporting memorabilia.

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