Bangalow keen for anniversary success

BROKEN necks and five consecutive Far North Coast Rugby Union village competition premierships have been some of the highs and lows since Bangalow Rugby Union Club entered the competition in 2003.

And with a highly sought after coach signed for 2012, the club is looking to make their tenth anniversary season a big one.

"We've done alright for a small club," foundation player Jock Craigie said.

"Greg Cromwell, Daniel Hill and I have been there since the beginning and played over 100 games for the club."

The stranglehold that Bangalow had on the Village competition between 2005 and 2009 will always be remembered for when winger Richard Allen broke his neck and was confined to a wheelchair in 2007.

"That was a terrible moment but it brought everyone together," Craigie said.

"We flew him out in a helicopter to see us win the grand final in Kyogle.

"We've raised a lot of money since then and helped build him a house."

Former NSW Country and Waratahs development squad player Paul Barrett will take the reins as coach after a stint coaching Southern Districts in the Shute Shield Competition in Sydney and an assistant role with the Illawarra zone side.

"It's a pretty big coup for the club," Craigie said.

"I know a lot of local first grade clubs were chasing him and hopefully with someone like that at the club we can entice some new players."

The Royals are hoping with the addition of an under-19s side this season it will help them continue to grow.

"Some of us are getting on a bit and we need some young blokes to come through," Craigie said.

"I'll never forget the 2009 grand final; Yamba dropped back from first grade and beat us all season.

"We ended up pipping them in the grand final to make it five in a row," he recalled.

Any interested players can phone Simon Balcon on 0416 287 786.

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