Tamworth Rugby Club: Magpies to mark 1993 first grade and reserve grade triumphs with old boys' day

IT’S been 25 years since Tamworth Rugby Club took out the first grade and reserve grade premierships in 1993.

To celebrate historic event, the club is getting the band back together this weekend for old boys’ day.

In a strange twist of fate, Tamworth first grade coach Peter Burke was coaching Moree’s first grade side in the 1993 grand final.

“The funny part was, my best mate Peter Thompson scored the winning try against me,” Burke said, laughing.

“He still likes to talks about that today.”

The 1993 first grade team was a “pretty formidable side at”, littered with representative players.

“There was Bernie Klasen at number 8 and his brother Adrien Klasen at loosehead, who both played for Country,” Burke said.

“Bernie Whale was at breakway and there was Craig Coffey at inside centre – he played for the Emerging Wallabies and was an extremely good player.

“Along side these great players, you had the old hard heads like Bob Ford – he played for Country at tighthead – and John Wiseman, who played about 150 games for the club in the second row.

“To give you an indication of how strong the side was, they had blokes like Grant Davidson, who played hooker for country, in reggies.”

While the 1993 teams are at the centre of the celebrations, Burke said all old boys were encourage to come along. 

“On the Friday night, we’re having welcome drinks and a barbecue at the clubhouse,” Burke said.

“That’s open to all old boys from the club. Even though the focus is on the 1993 side, we want everyone there, current players as well.

“On the Saturday, we’ve got the corporate boxes upstairs were all the all old boy’s can watch the club take on Albies.

“As an old boy, it’s great to turn up and relive your memories. It’s a thrill to get back there and see how the club has advanced, and support the current players.

“Especially given the change we’ve had now we’re in the New England competition, playing in the jumper we wore in the ‘80s.”

Burke said the reunion was just as important to the current batch of players as it was to the old boys.

“My involvement as a coach is just as much cultural as it is technical,” he said.

“It’s very important for the club and the players to understand where they come from in order to know where they’re going.

“If the current crop of players can learn and understand from those guys what it’s like to play well and win a premiership, we might understand how we get there.”