WILL Jerrard celebrated his 40th birthday by helping out the Oxley Diggers at Scully Park last Sunday.
A star player in some of the West Lions sides of the ’90s, Jerrard came out of retirement to play halfback for the Diggers in their debut season.
And he showed he has lost none of his finesse with some sparkling moments in last Sunday’s 66-30 loss to Gunnedah.
On one occasion his little grubber in behind the Gunnedah defence was snared by a defender but Jerrard promptly stole the ball in a one-on tackle to put his side back on the attack again.
At one stage the Diggers had fought back to 10-all in the first half before they lapsed and let in five tries before the break.
In the second half he helped the Diggers make a late run, with fullback Scott Berry scoring three tries in a surging finish.
Jerrard laid on one try with a perfectly-placed grubber from a scrum win for Berry to race onto and score.
“We’re starting to go well,” Jerrard said after the match.
Originally from Ashford, he moved to Tamworth with his parents where he met West Tamworth coach Tony La Chiusa and accepted an invite to play with the Lions.
“I just love playing the game,” Jerrard said.
“I played last year with Bendemeer.”
His son, Jamarley, is also playing and scored a try for Moree Boomerangs in their second grade win at Ashford last Saturday.
This weekend, Ashford Roosters host Armidale Rams in their Group 19 clash tomorrow while Moree Boomerangs are at home (Burt Jovanovic Oval) to Uralla Tigers tomorrow.
Glen Innes Magpies host Tingha Tigers on Sunday and Inverell Hawks round off the Round 9 Group 19 weekend with a Sunday home game (Varley Oval) against Goondiwindi Boars.
Jerrard and his Oxley Diggers have a tough one in their Group 4 clash, tackling unbeaten North Tamworth at Jack Woolaston Oval on Sunday.
West Lions go to Quirindi Sportsground to play Narrabri Blues on Sunday, with Gunnedah at home (Kitchener Park) to Wee Waa on Sunday.