FIFTEEN Tamworth taggers will have to wait a little while to play in an Australian “best versus the rest” one-day tournament.
The huge day of oztag was scheduled to be played at St Gregory’s Campbelltown this weekend but the metropolitan wet spell has meant that Australia v Barbarians has been postponed for a few weeks.
Australian and Barbarians teams have been named across 17 divisions.
Each division will play a three-Test series in one day.
The Barbarians are the players who just missed out on national selection so will be pushing to prove the selectors wrong.
Six Tamworth players have been selected to represent Australia this year in their individual divisions.
Bronte Harris will play in the 16s, while Zarayn Knight, fresh from a New Zealand tour with the Australian Indigenous team, has booked a spot in the 18s.
Abbey Schmiedel will also represent in the 18s.
Steve Corbett will pull on the green and gold for the men’s 35s, but Tamworth’s strongest area is the men’s 50s.
Those three games will be full of Tamworth faces and rivalries as five players across both sides from the region have been selected.
Michael McKinnon and Garth Pennefather will play with the crest on their chest, while Richard Rowlings, Oscar Leonard and Scott Fitzgerald will oppose them as Barbarians.
The other age group with a few local faces will be the girls’ 18s, with Megan Murphy and Steph Fullwood playing for the Barbarians against Schmiedel.
The other Tamworth Barbarians are Taylor Holcombe in the 16s, Tiffany Walsh in the mixed seniors as well as Jeff Faint and Darren Avery in the men’s 40s.
Tamworth Junior Oztag Director Katrina Davis said having so many representatives was a great achievement.
“This is the first time the juniors have had an opportunity to represent Australia,” Davis said.
“The sport is getting stronger here every year and this proves we are the strongest non-metro area.”
The weekend is usually a trans-Tasman Test, although with the World Cup just around the corner, Australia its strengthening its stocks.
As well as a spot in the World Cup squad, four divisions will be going on a tour of the UK in June.
Corbett is a good chance of making that tour in the 35s.
While all players in both sides have a huge incentive to perform, with World Cup squads being selected soon, there is also some disappointment with the venue.
The 2015 World Cup was initially going to be in England, then it was changed to Hawaii, but is now likely to be at the Gold Coast.
“I was looking forward to the chance to play in Hawaii,” McKinnon said.