Gympie's Old Boys take to the paddock
THE Gympie Hammers Old Boys will reunite on Saturday, July 15, for a tough round of games against teams converging on Gympie from across Queensland.
Six teams have been confirmed for the Old Boys Veterans' Rugby Tournament, with veteran rugby rules dictating play for the over-35s tournament.
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About 160 players and add-ons from across southeast Queensland will converge on Leprechaun Park in a veritable festival of rugby.
The Thirsty Old Lions, Maleny Mountain Men, Bundaberg Rum Ruckers/Isis Sugar Daddies, Caboolture Fossils, Hervey Bay Battered Bats, Barbarians Team, and of course, the local Gympie Numbats will take to the stage.
The Numbats are the first cab off the rank at 11am, with each team facing off before the Gympie Hammers play their round 16 Reserve Grade clash against Maleny Bushrangers at 3pm.
The veterans will dust off their old jerseys, and while some other creases can't be ironed out, they will attempt to clean some cobwebs in terms of skill.
Gympie Hammers coach and Old Boys player Jason McPherson said the Old Boys team had been named The Numbats, and given the slogan "not like a wallaby” for a reason.
"We could probably give the Wallabies a run for the money at the moment though,” McPherson joked, referring to the form of the current Australian rugby team.
Under veteran rules, players are allowed to wear any colour of shorts and be allowed to run at least 10 metres before being tackled.
The games are broken up into quarters to allow the players to catch their breath.
McPherson said many of the old boys had been hard at training, but mostly in the bar.
"There's some seasoned campaigners in there.
"In all honesty though, a few of the boys have been playing for the Hammers, so some individuals will be match-fit.”
Beauty and the Beast will be catering for the day's festivities, a bar will be available and there will be a sausage sizzle for kids.
"Second-last home game from the season. Reward out of it financially for the club,” McPherson said.
"Looking at having a cracker of a weekend with the weather.”
The Hammers will look to continue their run today after last weekend's 27-12 triumph over the University of the Sunshine Coast.
McPherson said the vibe building around the club, their field and the players was a major contributor to the rise of the Hammers.
"The improvement I have seen in this group of players are unbelievable,” McPherson said.
"We moan about the season being long but we are seeing huge improvement each week.
"We have kept the same team each week, with the backs, and that's where our continuity has come from.”
McPherson said it was a shame the women's season had come to an end.
"Our girls have missed out on the finals, but the Hampton and Harlow Ladies 7-a-side training starts next week,” he said.
Old Boys tournament kicks off at 11am, Saturday July 15, with Gympie.
The Hammers Reserve Grade game begins after the Old Boys tournament, at 3pm.