Red­men put out the call for more women

The Daily Examiner - - SPORT - MATTHEW ELKERTON [email protected]­lyex­am­

RUGBY UNION: With the Grafton Red­men re­turn­ing to pre-sea­son train­ing at Rugby Park to­day, the club has re­newed calls to get women in­volved in the game.

The Red­men fielded a women’s team in the Mid North Coast com­pe­ti­tion last sea­son, af­fec­tion­ately dubbed the Ru­bies, and with a move to the Far North Coast zone this sea­son it is ex­pected the women’s game is only go­ing to reach new heights.

Red­men club pres­i­dent Craig Chad said the club was wel­com­ing any women who were in­ter­ested in the sport to come down to train­ing to see what the Ru­bies are all about.

“We want as many women as we can get,” he said. “The girls played sev­ens in that south­ern com­pe­ti­tion last year, and it was really a bit of a hodge-podge com­pe­ti­tion.

“But we have been told by the Far North Coast guys that it will be a tens com­pe­ti­tion this sea­son which will be much more con­ducive for the girls to play rugby.”

Chad said the 10s for­mat brings more of the ba­sics of rugby into the game, in­clud­ing proper line-outs, scrums and rucks.

“The 10s is more rugby than sev­ens is,” he said. “The girls loved it last year, and they are the ones push­ing it.”

This year the Ru­bies will be led by the rugby ex­pe­ri­ence of Jim McPher­son and Peter ‘Boodger’ Brown.

It is ex­pected cap­tain Brid­gett Mawhirt (right) will re­turn to the rugby field along­side most of the squad that played in the side’s in­au­gu­ral sea­son.

“They have the tal­ent there, we just need to foster that and help them grow in the game,” Chad said. “Women’s in­volve­ment in the game is some­thing that is def­i­nitely grow­ing in rugby union and it is great that our club can be part of that.”

The Red­men’s men sides will also head back on the field to­day un­der the watch­ful gaze of head coach Craig Howe.

Train­ing kicks off at Rugby Park at 6pm tonight.

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