Bully for Ben

THE Casino Bulls have landed a rugby union coup by arranging for Ben Kennedy to play a one-off game for the club next month.

A strong-running back-row forward, Kennedy played for the club before going on to carve out a strong career in the National Rugby League, playing 195 games for Canberra, Newcastle and Manly.

He also represented New South Wales 14 times in State of Origin and played 16 Tests for Australia.

Kennedy will play for the Bulls against the Wollongbar-Alstonville Pioneers at Albert Park, Casino, on August 11 then attend a fund-raising dinner at the Hotel Cecil for the NSW Cancer Council.

It is also the club's sponsors' day and 40th year anniversary celebration.

Kennedy won a premiership with the Knights in 2001 and was part of four Origin series wins for the Blues between 1999 and 2005.

He started out playing rugby for Casino, winning the Pat Power Junior Player of the Year Award in 1991 in the Bulls' under-19 team.

Kennedy then moved to Sydney where he attended St Joseph's College and went on to represent Australia in rugby sevens and under-21s.

The fund-raising event next month was the idea of Bulls second-rower Brock Armstrong.

"We all have been touched by cancer in some way and I thought the rugby players would really get behind the idea," he said.

The club was affected recently by the loss of Eve Quirk, the wife of long-time Bulls player Nathan Quirk.

Earlier in the year, Kennedy expressed an interest in turning out for the Bulls and he made some appearances at pre-season training but until now work and family commitments have prevented him taking the field.

"I am 100% in this, it is a great idea," Kennedy said of the fund-raiser.

Games will start at 12.30pm with spectators and supporters asked to donate a gold coin for admission.

After the rugby the fund-raising will continue at Sophie's Restaurant at the Hotel Cecil from 7pm, with commemorative jerseys to be auctioned off on the night.

Inquiries about the event to Bulls coach Darren Winkler on 0407152354.



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