Walcha welcomes home former Wallaby

FORMER Wallaby halfback Sam Payne is continuing the fine tradition of former Australian players putting plenty in to the grass roots of the game in the Central North zone.

This week Payne will be one of six "Classic Wallabies" appearing with the True Colours Tour promotion in Tamworth.

The six former Wallabies – Payne, Brian Mansfield, Denis O'Callaghan, David Carter, Bill McKid and Neil Latimer – will help pass out some handy tips to young students at a TryRugby session on Thursday.

The True Colours Tour is in Armidale today and arrives in Tamworth Thursday for two days.

Payne has returned to Walcha after playing in France and has pulled on the Ram jersey in reserve grade and off the bench in first grade.

He has teamed up in the halves in reserve grade with Jock McLaren, who he played with at Sydney club Easts in the early 1990s.

The pair had an outstanding weekend against Moree on Saturday in a 12-all draw with the defending reserve grade


Payne scored a try and McLaren was awarded the CNRU best and fairest points and is following in the path of former Wallabies such as Tim Gavin, Bill McKid (Barraba) and Dave Carter (Quirindi) to play and coach in Central North after completing their International careers

• See this Saturday's Northern Daily Leader Weekend Magazine section for a full story on Payne's return to Walcha.

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