THE Central North season might be done and dusted for another year but Inverell’s Dave Kearsey and Paul Young can’t pack away their boots just yet.
The Highlander pair are preparing to head over to New Zealand at the end of next month with the Australian Deaf rugby side.
Another two players from the area are also in line for the tour party, with Bingara’s Anthony King, and Tamworth’s Ben Semmler playing in the trials held at Gloucester recently.
Highlanders coach Kearsey and prop Young will tour with the side for the second year in a row after going over to Japan last year.
Kearsey is 50 per cent deaf and Young completely deaf.
The Australian side was finalised after trials on the Gold Coast in July and the other weekend at Gloucester but, before the latest trial, both had been already contacted and informed of their selection as the starting number seven and three respectively.
Last year’s tour incorporated two Tests against the Japanese national deaf side, both of which the Australians won convincingly.
They also visited deaf schools promoting deaf rugby, which attracted massive media attention on all national TV networks in Japan.
Young for his efforts was named the best forward for the tour and Kearsey adjudged the Australian player of the series.
Earlier this year, they also teamed up to win gold in the rugby 7s at this year’s Australian Deaf Games held in Melbourne, where Young again took out the best forward award and Kearsey was named the player of the series.
They are now preparing to take on a much more formidable opponent in the form of the New Zealand Deaf All Blacks.
The Aussies will face them at North Harbour Stadium on October 27.
Kearsey says that although it will be a huge test playing them over there, it is something he is looking forward to.
“It is very humbling and emotional to stand on a field representing your country while the national anthem plays but to then face off to the New Zealand haka will be something special,” he said.
“With that kind of adrenalin pumping, Pauley and I will throw everything we have at the Kiwis.”
The Deaf Rugby World Cup will be held in London, England in 2015 and Kearsey says that these Test matches are a good way to shoot out a warning to other sides around the world.
“If we can beat NZ on their turf it will send a clear message that Australian Deaf Rugby will be a force at the World Cup,” he said.
“England is touring Australia next year so we hope to get a win over both sides as they are two of the best but we know the Kiwis will be tough.”
He said the Auckland Test would be a huge event and is hoping they will get plenty of support.
“The New Zealand Test will be even more special as both Paul and I will have family there who are travelling over,” he said.
“This will mean everything to us but I do hope many Auckland-based Aussies come out in support.
“It is such a genuinely good thing to be a part of and I see what it brings to the huge deaf community everywhere we go and I am very grateful and humbled to be handed an Australian jumper again.”