ZARHYN Knight will be making the trip across the Tasman again in the new year, and will be joined by the Fulwood siblings Steph and Matt.
The three Tamworth oztaggers have been selected in the Australian Indigenous team to play in the Oceania Cup in Auckland next March.
Knight made both the U21s and opens men’s sides but has elected to play for the opens.
Steph will play for the U21s girls and Sam the U17s boys.
At 14 he’s the youngest in the team. It’s similar for Steph.
She’s only 16 playing in an U21s team.
For both it will be their first time playing for Australia. It was the first time they’ve even trialled for the side.
Steph was spotted at the recent Nationals in Coffs Harbour, where she was filling in for Mid North Coast, and asked if she would like to go down to Sydney and trial.
Sam thought he might as well go along two.
Neither had any expectations and were surprised to find out they’d made the side, but excited at the same time.
“(We’re) Looking forward to it,” they said.
Both have been playing oztag for a couple of years and are talented away from the oztag field too.
Sam is a representative football player.
Back in the October school holidays he played for the Northern NSW Country U14s at the National Youth Championships in Coffs Harbour.
He is a midfielder and plays locally for South Tamworth as well as the NIF rep side.
Oztag is his summer sporting pursuit, and cricket.
Steph is also a pretty handy touch player and plays hockey over the winter.
They’ll have a pretty good tour guide in Knight.
It will be his third time over to New Zealand in the last few years to play oztag.
Last year he was part of the open men’s indigenous side that played at the last Oceania Cup.
Then this year he played for the Australian U18s in the Trans-Tasman tournament.
“It’s good, I love it,” Knight said about playing over in New Zealand.
“It’s a good atmosphere to play in.”
Last time he was named most valuable player for the men’s side.
“We’ve got a couple of new ones coming in,” he said.
“It’s going to be a good time away.”
Shelley Baker was also selected for the senior mixed side but has had to withdraw.