Players will lace up the boots in memory of former Pirate Jack Cutcliffe on Saturday.
The second annual Jack Cutcliffe Memorial Tournament will be held at Ken Chillingworth Oval.
Pirates’ under-17s, who Jack was set to captain before he tragically passed away before the season kicked off, fittingly won the inaugural tournament last year and will be looking to defend their title against Sydney club Eastwood, who are returning again, and Calrossy.
This year will see the addition of an “old boys” fixture with the local players involved in last year’s tournament combining forces to tackle a side from Eastwood.
Thanks to the support of Kennards Hire, special jerseys have also been designed for the day.
Jack’s father Tom said the tournament is a way of “keeping Jack’s memory alive”, while also helping the fight against heart disease with all money raised being donated to the Heart Foundation.
“So far we’ve donated $13,000,” he said.
He is one of the organisers of the tournament and said Jack would have been “pretty cranky he couldn’t be here to be part of it”.
Noah Cook concurred, remarking that it is a day that Jack, who was his good friend, would have loved.
“Rugby was one of his passions. He definitely loved playing it,” Cook said.
Cook will line up for the local old boys side on Saturday, and spoke about what a special day it is.
“It’s really special for Jack and the club, and his family and it’s very special to me, especially being one of Jack’s good friends,” he said.
“It’s good to see his name put on a trophy.”
Tom hopes that Eastwood's relationship with the event will help juniors wishing to pursue a career in Sydney.
“Hopefully we’re creating another pathway for juniors around here,” he said.
“They can team up with the Sydney boys and if they want to go to Sydney they’ve got somewhere to go.”
Kennards Tamworth branch manager Chris Burton said they were more than happy to throw their support behind the event when Pirates approached them.
He said the event is very much in line with what the family-owned company is all about.
The action kicks off at 4pm on Saturday, with the final slated to begin around 8.30pm
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