Young Vikings get cup of cheer

Vikings juniors (left to right) Ethan Hall (white shirt), Finn Noonan, Reece Hewat (behind), Nicholas Jones, Josh Debbes (obscured), Aubrey Duncan, Sebastian Hewat, Ian Duncan (coach), Josh Noonan, Thomas Petchler and Liam Moore. Picture: ANDY ZAKELI”Wallabies, Wallabies,” chanted a band of keen Vikings under 10s rugby players as they got their hands on the iconic Bledisloe Cup at Vikings Rugby Field yesterday.This is a lot closer than the Wallabies have done for quite a few years – six, to be exact.Unfortunately the trophy that symbolises trans-Tasman rugby supremacy was on loan from holders New Zealand and not in Australian possession for the Bledisloe Cup Roadshow which rolled into town yesterday.If enthusiasm is any gauge of how the 2009 Bledisloe Cup series will finish, Australia may well snatch the trophy back from the All Blacks, who are 1-0 up with three games remaining.The roadshow visited Mt Ousley Primary, St John Vianney’s and Fairy Meadow Demonstration schools as well as Vikings.”This is quite a big opportunity for the boys and girls to get their hands on it, so to speak,” Illawarra Rugby development officer Sean Barrett said.”With the help of Vikings, Tech Waratahs and Wollongong TIGS/Uni clubs, we tried to do a recruitment program and those three schools were involved in that and they’re actually going to be involved in our Ed-Rugby Program in the next couple of weeks as well.”Among the kids may be some future Wallabies running around. “Hopefully we can pick them out,” Barrett added.Australian Rugby Union retention manager Steve Frost is in charge of the roadshow.”This is the fourth year we’ve done it,” Frost said.”I went over to New Zealand last Thursday and picked up the cup.They were a bit less confident this time that they were going to get it back.”However, New Zealand only have to draw the series to retain it. So Australia have to win the last three Tests.”If the kids have their say, the Wallabies will win – now it’s up to the players.
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