Otago Daily Times

Veterans line up for battle


THERE are some quality sides which will come to try to get the silverware at the Spartans 10s tournament at Miller Park tomorrow — and that is just in the over 35 years grade.

The tournament has been going since 2014 and has become a fixture on the Dunedin rugby calendar.

It is also one of the few events last year which was not affected by the Covid19 pandemic, being played last year before the country became closed down.

Taieri is the defending champion in the open grade, but is likely to get plenty of heat from teams from Southern, Green Island, University and a side made up of former players from Otago Boys’ High School. Otago players such as Ben Miller and Slade McDowall have been named in the school side.

Oamaru Old Boys is also set to line up along with a side from Kaikorai. Kaikorai has listed former Otago captain Paul Grant in its side.

There are also women’s sides and a junior grade, while the Spartans over35 side is set to have former All Blacks Paul Miller and Kees Meeuws lining up — though minds may be more willing than bodies.

Also down for the veteran’s grade is Harry’s Heroes, which includes many players from out of Dunedin, while the Sassenachs Panthers will also be a team to watch out for, having veteran players from far and wide

Organiser Shane Waldron said things were coming together well and the allimporta­nt weather forecast was looking good.

He said the tournament was an appealing prospect for many as it was a good way for players to start the season and spectators to watch some club rugby early on.

The first game is at 9am tomorrow, while the final in the open grade is scheduled to begin about 4.15pm.

The event is for charity and this year’s charity is Foster Hope Otago.

There will be a dinner at the Miller Park clubrooms tomorrow night to raise funds.

The tournament has raised more than $100,000 for charity since it began.

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