The rev­e­la­tion that Rusty is gay sparks a tabloid frenzy, club ho­mo­pho­bia and an iden­tity cri­sis for one of his team­mates’ part­ners!

TV Soap - - Inside -

It’s an is­sue when Rusty comes out on Play­ing for Keeps

R usty O’Reilly, the South­ern Jets’ tal­ented cen­tre half­back on the field, has be­come in­fa­mous for his wild and of­ten un­pre­dictable an­tics off it. With his be­hav­iour con­tin­u­ally putting the club un­der pres­sure, Rusty’s al­leged af­fair with the wid­owed Jessie hasn’t done him, her, or any­one else any favours, ei­ther. In­stead it’s just gen­er­ated more neg­a­tive pub­lic­ity.

With the re­sult­ing scan­dal sul­ly­ing Jessie’s (Is­abella Giov­inazzo) rep­u­ta­tion with each sen­sa­tional news head­line, Rusty (Ethan Panizza) boils over in frus­tra­tion, fi­nally mak­ing the shock­ing, and his­toric, de­ci­sion to come out as a gay AFL player!

The ram­i­fi­ca­tions are im­me­di­ate and wide­spread. Rusty’s brav­ery sur­prises Kath (Madeleine West), yet she’s keen to en­dorse his de­ci­sion and aims to land a six-pointer on his be­half when Brian (Jeremy Lind­sayTay­lor) men­tions that An­drew Ma­cleish (Paul Ire­land), the pres­i­dent of the South­ern Jets, has de­manded he drop Rusty for the next game! Stunned, Kath ar­gues that leav­ing him off the ros­ter would be po­lit­i­cal sui­cide as the me­dia won’t hes­i­tate to la­bel and damn the club as ho­mo­pho­bic. The AFL should be seen to be cham­pi­oning all their play­ers, re­gard­less of

their sex­u­al­ity! She’s re­lieved when her hus­band does the right thing and defies Ma­cleish’s orders; but af­ter learn­ing Rusty told Brian his se­cret months ago, Kath has to won­der what else he’s hid­ing...

Mean­while, Paige (Cece Peters) is also deeply af­fected by Rusty’s hon­esty. Hav­ing been trashed on so­cial me­dia and by the other WAGs for sup­pos­edly leak­ing Rusty and Jessie’s af­fair to the tabloids and pa­parazzi, Paige posts a de­fi­ant mes­sage of sup­port, earn­ing long-awaited praise from Tahlia (Olympia Valance) and her fol­low­ers, mainly be­cause she’s fi­nally be­come an “in­flu­encer”! As she rev­els in her new­found sta­tus, she also en­ters a dark world where trolls lurk, wait­ing to pounce…

Although Kath and Paige are tak­ing a stand against the out­side world, Rusty just wants to fade into the back­ground un­til the furore has died down. The new­shounds and paps hid­ing around ev­ery cor­ner aren’t about to let him do that! In­stead, the at­ten­tion on him is es­ca­lat­ing as they delve into ev­ery as­pect of his life. Fed up with the scru­tiny, Rusty snaps that he’s not about to be­come the poster boy for gay foot­ballers. All he wants to do is play footy!

ON TEN MARK OF A MAN Rusty (Ethan Panizza) makes the big call to come out


VEST & FAIREST Rusty in the locker room

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.