The Tumut Bullettes will have a new captain leading them into the 2021 Southern Inland Rugby Union (SIRU) season, with Jade Bellchambers given the top job by coach, Shane Herrington.
The 17-year-old will be playing in her first year of senior women’s rugby but has a wealth of junior and representative experience.
Still, Bellchambers was caught a little off guard when given the news prior to the Bullettes strong preseason victory of Wagga Agriculture College three weekends ago.
“This is my first year actually playing with the Bullettes, but I have been training with them every year since they started back,” Bellchambers said.
“I found out the night before we played our first trial game, about three weeks ago. I didn’t’ expect it. I was talking to Shane (Herrington) and he asked me if I would lead the girls out on the Saturday.”
The Bullettes youngster is excited by the appointment and believes the team is ready to fire, after a good trial win over Aggies.
“It was very rewarding to be named captain. I was very shocked actually, but definitely excited because we have a good side and I’m excited to see where we will progress from last game,” Bellchambers said.
“We played really well and I’m interested to see what happens next.”
“The diminutive scrum half can play anywhere in the back line, and Bellchambers said she was happy to fill in where she was needed most.
“I just love being able to be out there and I want to help the girls and be the best i can be on the field,” she said.
Bellchambers will have the task of directing around more experienced players such as Monique Toppin, Shanae Freeman and her older sister, Kiahan Bellchambers.
“They have a lot more experience under their belt than I do, so I need to be listening to what they say and putting my best in and just encouraging them to play their best and keep positive,” Bellchambers said.
“I’ll try and lead by example, I will always be willing to do anything I ask someone else to do.”
The Bullettes newest skipper hopes to see some new faces as the SIRU season approaches, especially after the club couldn’t field a team in 2020 due to a lack of players.
“We definitely want players to come down, it’s a really good environment and I’m keen to see more girls get involved in the sport,” Bellchambers said.
“It is growing as the years go on and I want to see women’s rugby grow in Tumut.”
Bullettes coach, Shane Herrington, said age wouldn’t be a factor with Bellchambers set to lead the way.
“The main motivation for picking Jade as captain is because she is so level headed and she does bring experience to the side,” Herrington said.
“She has played rugby all of her life and she has Kiahan and other senior girls around her, which is good guidance.
Herrington believed that appointing a young and enthusiastic captain could be good for the future of the Bullettes.
“The biggest thing is that she is the future of the Bullettes, and we can build her up now because the idea is to grow the group,” Herrington said.
“There is no denying that the group is definitely struggling for numbers and to try and engage that next generation of girls to come on board and follow Jade is the bigger picture.”
Any girls wanting to try their hand at rugby, or find out more, are encouraged to get down to Jarrah Oval for training on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6pm, or visit the ‘Tumut Bullettes Women’s Rugby’ Facebook page.