JCU rugby cel­e­brates 50th

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - MICHAEL THOMP­SON

JAMES Cook Univer­sity Rugby Union is cel­e­brat­ing 50 years worth of on- field achieve­ment and ca­ma­raderie.

JCU Rugby kicked off its 50- year an­niver­sary last night with in­for­mal drinks, and con­tin­ues today with a full af­ter­noon’s worth of games at JCU’s main sports oval.

The cel­e­bra­tion con­tin­ues to­mor­row with a fi­nal catch- up at Tom’s Tav­ern, where old mates will no doubt re­gale each other with sto­ries from their glory days.

JCU Rugby life mem­ber Les Samp­son will be one of about 90 former play­ers com­ing to­gether from all cor­ners of the country for the big week­end. “The club’s had its ups and downs through­out the years, but it’s al­ways been a lot of fun,” said Samp­son, who played his first year with JCU in 1971.

“It started in 1967 and a whole group of us came out of Bris­bane to come here for univer­sity and the club re­ally started to hit its straps in 197172.

“We made the first grade grand fi­nal in 1971 and we won re­serve grade, and we had a pretty strong 10 years.

“We have some of the orig­i­nal guys from 1967 to 1969 com­ing along, and some play­ers who are at­tend­ing we haven’t seen in 40 years.”

To­mor­row’s on- field ac­tion at JCU kicks off with a women’s game be­tween Western Sub­urbs and Teach­ers West at 2pm, followed by an­other women’s clash be­tween Univer­sity and North Ward at 2.50pm.

The day’s third grade game be­tween Univer­sity and Western Sub­urbs fol­lows, then the main game gets un­der way be­tween Uni and Char­ters Tow­ers in sec­ond grade at 5pm.

“Part of the re­union is to weld our sup­porter base to­gether be­cause we want to get back into first grade in the next few years,” Samp­son said.

“But we’re proud of our cur­rent grades, and our women’s team has won its com­pe­ti­tion for the past two years and we’re very con­fi­dent they can do it again.”

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