Former rugby union Wallaby legends are joining forces with former All Blacks stars to take on a classic British and Irish XV to raise money for wounded soldiers.
The Classic Anzacs team will feature rugby legends from both sides of the ditch, setting aside their differences to take on British and Irish XV that will feature some of the best to ever play the game in the northern hemisphere.
This event follows in the bone-crunching wake of the March 2011 Triple M Classic Rugby Game between Australian and New Zealand greats to raise funds for people affected by the devastating Christchurch earthquakes – this was an event which sold out and raised over $600,000.
This year’s match will support Mates4Mates, which was started by RSL Queensland in 2012 to help modern day soldiers with physical or psychological injuries.
Mates4Mates Chairman Peter Davies said the Class Rugby charity match donations will be a huge help to the organisation. ‘Mates4Mates is humbled by the support we’ve received from those working hard to get this year’s Classic Rugby match organised’, said Mr Davies. ‘Mates4Mates would like to thank all the players and everyone who’s bought a ticket to come along to what promises to be a fantastic game.
M4M supporters include Darren Lockyer, Jonathon Brown, Wally Lewis, Nathan Sharpe, Pat Rafter, Natalie Cook, Hugh Jackman, Gen Peter Cosgrove and CPL Ben Roberts-Smith.
Retired players lining up for the Anzacs are Chris Latham, Jeremy Paul, Stephen Larkham, Sam Scott-Young, Scott Robertson, Nathan Grey, Ofisa Junior Tonu’u, Garrick Morgan, Mark Connors, Matt Dunning, Andrew Heath, Jim Williams, David Croft.
While on the British and Irish XV side, there’ll be Robbie Russell, Rob Henderson, Craig Chalmers, Mark Regan, Mark Jones, Derrick Lee, Darren Morris, Stewart Davies, Alan Quinlan, Lewis Moody, Ben Clarke, David Corkery.
‘Your support means a great deal to injured defence personnel who have given their blood, sweat and tears for Australia’, says Peter.
The clash will be held at Ballymore Stadium, just north of Brisbane, the home of rugby union in Queensland next Friday June 21.
Visit www.mates4mates.org for more information.
Classic Rugby is back at Ballymore
Classic Anzacs vs British and Irish XV
When – Friday night, June 21
Where – Ballymore
Tickets on sale at ticketek.com.au
Why? In support of Mates4Mates who are dedicated to supporting wounded, injured and ill Australian service personnel and their families.
Teams so far
Classic Anzacs: Greg Martin, Chris Latham, Jeremy Paul, Stephen Larkham, Sam Scott-Young, Scott Robertson, Nathan Grey, Ofisa Junior Tonu’u, Frank Bunce, Garrick Morgan, Mark Connors, Matt Dunning, Andrew Heath, Jim Williams, Daryl Gibson
British and Irish XV – Robbie Russell, Rob Henderson, Craig Chalmers, Mark Regan, Mark Jones, Derrick Lee, Darren Morris, Stewart Davies, Alan Quinlan, Lewis Moody, Ben Clarke, David Corkery
Greg Martin –
* Played as a fullback, earned 9 Wallaby caps in 1989 and 1990, and 65 caps for the Queensland Reds. He played club rugby for the Brisbane club University for 18 years.
* Since retiring from playing he has worked as part of Fox Sports Rugby Union match commentary team in Australia. He is widely known for his controversial comments, including challenging the need for the All Blacks Haka. He is also a regular feature on Triple M’s The Cage, a talkback breakfast radio show in Brisbane.
Chris Latham –
* Second highest try scorer (behind David Campese) in Wallaby history with 40 international tries.
* Started with Waratahs, then played with Reds and received the Australian Super 12 Player of the Year award three times (2000, 2003 and 2004).
* In 2005 he became the 21st player to win 100 caps for Queensland.
* Represented Australia in the 1999, 2003 and 2007 Rugby World Cups.
* In 2006 was the first back to win the John Eales Medal, and was nominated by the International Rugby Board for player of the year.
Jeremy Paul –
* New Zealand-born, played hooker for Wallabies and ACT Brumbies.
* In 2005 won the John Eales Medal, receiving 194 votes from his teammates.
* He has won 72 caps for Australia and 112 Super Rugby caps for the ACT Brumbies.
* Current attack coach for the Brumbies.
* Brumbies player from inception in 1996 through 2007.
* Has received Wallaby cap 102 times.
* One of the greatest fly-halves in Australian rugby.
* Named in 2005 Australia’s team of the decade.
* Played in Japan for the first half of the 2010–11 Top League season playing for the Ricoh Black Rams in Japan, then returned to Canberra in November 2010 to be attack coach for the Brumbies.
* Larkham’s famous 48m-drop goal to seal victory over South Africa in extra time of the 1999 Rugby World Cup semi-final has gone down in rugby folklore.
* Started rep career in 1986 for Queensland Country against the Italians.
* Seven caps for the Wallabies between 1990 and 1992.
* Famous for winking at the All Blacks during the haka in 1992.
Scott Robertson (NZ) –
* Played flanker for Perpignan. He has previously played for Canterbury Crusaders and New Zealand.
* Played 23 tests for NZ.
* Left Perpignan to play for Ricoh Black Rams in Japan. He is now the head coach at Sumner Rugby Club, Christchurch, New Zealand.
* In 2004 helped establish an under 19 team at Sumner.
Nathan Grey –
* Played mostly at centre, sometimes fly-half.
* Defence and skills coach for the Melbourne Rebels since the team’s inaugural Super Rugby season in 2011.
* In 1997 he played two games for Queensland against France, at Ballymore Stadium.
* Played 94 Super games for the Waratahs.
* In 1998, debuted for Australia, and played 35 tests.
* After leaving the Waratahs, spent five years in Japan.
* In 2010 became the Melbourne Rebels’ first Defence (or skills) Coach, in 1012 became Assistant Coach.
Ofisa Junior Tonu’u (NZ) –
* Played 5 tests for Samoa in early 90s.
* Played 5 tests for All Blacks from 96-98.
* Played for Wellington Lions from 91-92.
* Also played for Poneke and Hurricanes, as well as London Irish.
* In 2011 and 2012 coached Auckland club rugby. Over-sized halfback Ofisa Junior Tonu’u has the distinction of playing test match rugby both for and against the All Blacks. A benefactor of the former loose IRB international transfer regulations, Tonu’u, along with a clutch of other former Hurricanes such as Alama Ieremia and Stephen Bachop, played tests for Samoa in the early 1990s and then switched to play for New Zealand.
Tonu’u’s career for the All Blacks spanned 1996-1998 and five tests, after previously playing five tests for Samoa in 1992-1993, including his international against the All Blacks in Auckland in 1993.
Tonu’u’s season with the Hurricanes in 1999 was a homecoming for the former Poneke and Wellington Lions’ halfback who had moved to Auckland and the Blues to further his career. Wellington-raised and Rongotai College educated, Tonu’u played for the Vodafone Wellington Lions in 1991-1992, before moving to Auckland where he made the New Zealand XV in 1994 and then the All Blacks two years later.
He was first choice halfback for the Blues from 1996-1998, and was then drafted back home to play for the Hurricanes in 1999, starting in the first five games and then off the bench behind Jason Spice in another four.
In 2000, Tonu’u left New Zealand rugby for London Irish, returning several years later and playing for the Auckland Development XV.
In 2011 and 2012 he was coaching Auckland club rugby.
Frank Bunce (NZ) –
* Played international rugby for both Western Samoa and New Zealand in the 1990s.
* Played four international matches for Samoa and 55 for New Zealand.
* Scored 96 points for New Zealand, and one try (4 points) for Samoa.
* Played for the Chiefs until 1998, and played one season for Castres in France, and one season for Bristol in England before retiring in 1999.
* Was the second-oldest All Black ever and New Zealand’s most capped test centre (outside centre) and oldest back.
* Coached in Italy from 2001 to 2003, was Auckland’s defence coach in 2004 and served as a technical advisor to Samoa in 2005. He is a position-specific coach for the International Rugby Academy in New Zealand.
Garrick Morgan –
* 24 Wallaby caps and 3 tries, playing between 92-97.
* In 1993 was voted the world’s best player by the newspaper l’Équipe.
* Gold Coast resident, B&B owner, and has started a junior rugby club on Tamborine Mountain.
Mark Connors –
* Queensland Reds most capped player with 134 games.
* Played for Australia 20 times, including winning 1999 Rugby World Cup.
* Made his international debut for Australia in 1999 in a game against the Springboks in Brisbane, which Australia won 32 points to six.
* After spending three seasons in both England and Japan, he returned to the Queensland Reds.
Matt Dunning –
* Former Wallaby Prop
* 45 tests for the Wallabies
* Played for the Waratahs and the Western Force
* Famously kicked a field goal for the Waratahs when they needed to score a try for a bonus point.
Andrew Heath –
* 8 Wallaby caps
* 31 Queensland caps
* Played for Queensland Reds, NSWRW Waratahs, Victoria, Wallabies, Beziers, Wellington Lions.
Jim Williams –
* Played 14 tests for the Wallabies
* Former Assistant coach at the Wallabies
* Played Flanker/Number 8
* Started playing rugby at the age of 17 after he joined the army
* Won a Super Rugby title with the Brumbies and a World Cup with Australia in 1999
Daryl Gibson (NZ) –
* Played inside centre for the Crusaders, Bristol Shoguns, Leicester Tigers and Glasgow Warriors.
* Played 19 tests for the All Blacks between 1999 and 2002.
* Was an assistant coach for the Crusaders in the Super Rugby competition.
BRITISH AND IRISH XV:
Robbie Russell –
* Australian-born played hooker for London Irish and formerly with Saracens.
* Brought up on a cattle farm, played for Queensland before moving to Scotland.
* Made his debut for Scotland national rugby union team against Romania in 1999, and represented Scotland at the World Cup in 2003. He scored Scotland’s solitary try during its quarter-final defeat to Australia.
* He has now retired due to a neck injury and has different businesses, one being an online freight marketplace called www.truckit.net which he runs from Brisbane, Australia.
Rob Henderson –
* Plays centre for Esher RFC.
* He has represented Ireland with 32 caps and toured with the 2001 British and Irish Lions.
* Henderson played for London Irish, London Wasps, and Leinster, and joined Munster in late 2001.
* Henderson joined the French side Toulon, then of Pro D2, in 2006, and played three years there, including their promotion to Top 14 in 2008, before returning to the UK to sign for Esher RFC.
Craig Chalmers –
* The fly-half represented Scotland and the British Lions at international level.
* He was capped 60 times for Scotland.
Mark Regan –
* He has played as a hooker for Bristol, Bath, Leeds Tykes as well as England and the British Lions.
* 1995-2008 capped 46 times for England, scored 15 points.
* 1997, British and Irish Lions 1 cap.
Mark Jones –
* Is a former Welsh rugby union footballer who played on the wing for the Scarlets and Wales. Since making his international debut for Wales, he won 47 caps and scored 13 tries.
Derrick Lee –
* Played for Watsonians, London Scottish and Edinburgh Rugby.
* At one point was the top try-scorer of all time in the Celtic League although that record has since been broken.
* He took his international debut against Ireland at Lansdowne Road in 1998.
* He received 12 caps, scoring 34 points.
Darren Morris –
* Has received 18 caps playing for Wales.
* He played in the 2001 Six Nations and on the 2001 British and Irish Lions tour to Australia, and came on as a replacement for Tom Smith in the third test.
* He also went on the 2004 tour to Argentina and South Africa under Mike Ruddock. Morris appeared twice in Argentina as a replacement from the bench, and in his final Wales game, appeared as a blood replacement against South Africa on 24 June 2004.
Stuart Davies –
* Former Wales international rugby union player.
* A backrow forward, played his club rugby for Swansea RFC and attained 17 caps for Wales.
* He is currently a rugby commentator and summariser for BBC and also works for Gwalia Housing Association.
Alan Quinlan –
* Quinlan represented Ireland A between 1998 and 2001 and made his senior debut for the Irish national team in 1999.
* He was a part of Ireland’s squad at the 2003 Rugby World Cup in Australia and scored two tries in the tournament before dislocating his shoulder.
* He was named in Ireland’s 2007 Rugby World Cup squad but did not make any appearances.
* Quinlan took his caps to a total of 27 by playing in the Autumn Internationals of 2008 against Canada and the All Blacks.
Lewis Moody –
* 71 tests for England including 18 Rugby World cup appearances
* 3 caps for the British and Irish Lions
* Former England captain
* Retired in 2011
* Played flanker
* Nickname is Mad Dog
Ben Clarke –
* 40 caps for England
* Played for Bath Rugby from 1992 to 1996, before joining Richmond F.C. as the first £1-million player.
* He returned to Bath in 2000 for a second spell as captain, before knee injuries reduced his appearances and he left the club for a second time, joining Worcester Warriors as player/coach in 2001.
* 1 cap during New Zealand tour in 1993 with the British and Irish Lions.
* Clarke currently works as a money broker for BGC Partners.
David Corkery –
* Retired Irish rugby union player. In his career (playing at blind-side wing-forward) he played for Cork Constitution, Munster and Bristol.
* 27 caps for Ireland between 1994 and 1999.
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