THE Tumut Bulls will have a more international flavour in 2024 with players from Argentina and Fiji boosting their player numbers.
Gus Diaz is from the province of Cordoba in Argentina where he played for the San Francisco club.
Diaz, 25, will play flanker for the Bulls.
He has played rugby since he was six, in a soccer-mad country.
“I’m bad at soccer,” he said.
“I tried soccer and it didn’t work. All us guys who were bad at soccer came over to rugby. It’s a cultural thing.”
His arrival at the Bulls was arranged with the club’s vice-president David West, with negotiations starting last November.
“I always wanted to go abroad to play and to get to know other cultures, especially Australia and New Zealand, because it is pretty interesting there,” he said.
He’s also a journalist in his native Argentina.
He is excited and keen about being part of the Bulls’ SIRU campaign this season.
“I’m really happy,” he said.
“They are good people and have given me a warm welcome. I’ve been to other clubs in Argentina, and I think the people here are more welcoming. I think sometimes small towns have that. I already have friends.”
The Tumut club has also gained the services of Freddie Rabukawaga, who is the 27-year-old cousin of Bulls player Joele Salusalumasi.
To say Freddie, a tighthead prop, is well credentialled would be putting it mildly.
He has played in the Fiji under 20s side, Fiji Warriors, Fijian Latui, Fijian Drua and was in the Melbourne Rebels development squad.
This is his third year in Australia and he lived in Melbourne and Sydney before coming here to Tumut.
“Melbourne is quiet; Sydney is too busy,” he said.
He was a prison officer in Fiji, and now has the opportunity to be an enforcer on the field for Tumut.
He is enjoying living and working in Tumut and is looking forward to playing for the Bulls, including with his cousin, whom he played with in his school team.
Bulls coach Jon Carmody said the two players were settling in well and he is looking forward to seeing them in action.
The Southern Inland Rugby Union senior competition will kick off on Saturday April 6.