50 years of Rats: 'Run hard, tackle low, back up all day'
FORMER Wallabies Justin Harrison and Richard Tombs will be part of the 50-year anniversary celebrations of the Southern Cross University Gold Rats rugby union club this weekend.
Both played for the club during their time at Lismore and will be joined by more than 200 Ex-Rats.
Tickets are still available in what should be a bumper three days highlighted by a dinner on Saturday night.
"Our two Wallabies will be here and we'll name our 50-year anniversary team,” event organiser and MC Dave Hoskins said.
"Maurie Ryan was like the godfather of the club, he always did it at previous reunions and I've taken it upon myself to keep the tradition going.
"I started here in 1981 and knew blokes from the 1970s, I coached in the late 1990s and have seen plenty of games over the last 10 years.
"It's a good way to create some dialogue on the night and to remember all the talented players we've had over the years.
"Richard will have some stories to tell and Justin is always entertaining.”
It all starts Friday night at the Station Hotel in Lismore and continues on Saturday when SCU hosts Lismore City in Far North Coast rugby at Maurie Ryan Oval.
The women's team will also play with first grade scheduled for a 3.15pm kick-off.
Dinner will be served at the UniBar with a 6.30pm start and a breakfast at the club on Sunday at 9.30am.
Donations on the night will be made to the Gold Rats Scholarship fund aiming at helping keep players at the club.
"It's unique to be an Ex-Rat and we have people who have gone on to all walks of life but we've kept that club bond,” Hoskins said.
"We'll be going by the club motto 'run hard, tackle low and back up all day' this weekend.”
"Its not just a weekend for the blokes - plenty of the lady Rats who played at the club over the years will be attending.”
Other notable Ex-Rats include former NRL coach Matt Elliott, All Blacks head strength and conditioning coach Dr Nic Gill and World Wildlife Fund for Nature chief executive Dermot O'Gorman.
Australian rugby sevens player Henry Vanderglas also spent time at the club.
Tickets are still available at https://events.humanitix.com.au/50rugbyrats.