Five Tumut Bullettes have been named in the Southern Inland Rugby Union (SIRU) Country squad that will battle SIRU City at ANU North Oval on Saturday.
The country team was selected from non-Wagga sides, and will take on a Wagga-based City side, playing alongside the other SIRU teams in front of Brumbies Super W Coaches, with players no doubt aiming for further selections in 2022.
Jade Bellchambers was picked at scrumhalf, Kiahan Bellchambers and Kymberly Brain were named as the starting centres and Emma Patterson and Shanae Freeman were picked on the bench.
Coach Marty Hogan explained what the SIRU Country girls would get out of playing in Canberra.
“We are following the males over there and they are playing in front of the Brumbies women’s selectors and they will be able to see if these girls are good enough to play Super W,” Hogan said.
“It’s a pathway. We do have Southern Inland women playing for Brumbies, and these girls get a chance to show their stuff.”
The women will train Friday night before preparing for a game at 2.05pm on Saturday.
“We trained on Sunday, and on Friday night we have another run,” Hogan said.
“The girls have been aware of it for a while and playing and training hard.”
Tumut captain Jade Bellchambers will be playing her first game for SIRU as a senior and she was pleased to be selected.
“I was pretty excited and a bit surprised. I wasn’t expecting it at the moment,” Jade said.
Bellchambers said a struggling Tumut team deserved to have a handful of players picked in the side.
“It’s really good to see all the girls get in and having a crack,” Jade said.
“I appreciate the opportunity for us to play SIRU, not that I was surprised to see the Tumut girls picked.
“The Tumut team has had a rough start to the season, but there is a lot of talent amongst the girls.”
Jade’s older sister, Kiahan will be one of the more experienced players in the squad, having played SIRU and Super W rugby in the past.
“Hopefully I can bring a bit of calm, and especially after only having a few training sessions, things might get a bit scrambled, so hopefully I can bring a bit of calm to the team with some eyes up football,” Kiahan said.
The older of the Bellchambers sisters offered some advice to the squad ahead of their match against SIRU City.
“All you can do is look to play the football on the day, and again eyes up football is what they will be looking for, so just go out there, keep a calm head and play what’s in front of you,” Kiahan said.
SIRU Country will be looking to put away City and Kiahan said her side had it all to play for.
“Absolutely, Country is always going to want to beat City, regardless if they are from Wagga or Canberra, we will be looking to beat them,” Kiahan said.
In an action-packed day of rugby in Canberra, Tumut also have three men named in the SIRU squad that will contest the Brumbies Provincial Championships at ANU North Oval on Saturday.
Second rower Oliver Toma and centre Jim Meya were named in the starting 15, while slippery outside back Vincent Wise was name on the bench.
SIRU are chasing a tenth-straight Brumbies Provincial Championships title and will play South Coast first up at 12.50pm and Monaro at 3.40pm.
The three Tumut players will be competing for a place in the Brumbies Country team that will play Brumbies City later this year.