Peter Crittle.
Peter Crittle.

Former Wallaby to lead local side

A REJUVENATED Murwillumbah Rugby Union club to play in next year’s Far North Coast Village competition has come a long way in 14 days, including the appointment of former dynamic Wallaby backrower Peter Crittle as its coach.

It is one of the most high-profile appointments made in the region for more than a decade.

A life member of NSW Rugby Union and former president of both the NSW and the Australian Rugby Union, Crittle played 15 Tests for Australia between 1962 and 1967 and was capped eight times for NSW between 1964 and 1966.

The retired barrister, who now lives on the Tweed, led Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs to its first premiership in 22 years in 1969.

Murwillumbah will become the eighth team in the 2010 Village competition and negates the bye caused by the early withdrawal of the Woolgoolga club last season.

However, the club is not playing on the tag of being a ‘new club’, but rather a revival for Murwillumbah which established rugby union as far back as 1896 when most villages along the railway track had teams in a local competition.

“It’s been a mammoth program all achieved in just two weeks, but we’re determined to make it work,” said new committee member Geoff Campbell.

“Someone threw up the idea, a few more ran with it and in just two weeks we have appointed a coach, an executive, a committee and should be naming our chief sponsor in a couple of days.

“If we were putting a team on the field next Saturday we would have 13 players lining up.”

The club is still to establish colours and a nickname but has already secured the use of Murwillumbah’s principal sporting field at Stan Sercombe Oval in conjunction with the Murwillumbah Mustangs rugby league club through Tweed Shire Council.

Other Village competition clubs were happy with Murwillumbah’s pending inclusion next year.

“With Woolgoolga’s withdrawal it does away with the bye, and it’s certainly a lot easier to travel to the Tweed,” Mullumbimby secretary Darryl Quigley said.

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