Ballina touch players Tony Cicchinelli, Tony Webb and Graham Lees, who have represented Queensland and have now been selected for an Australian veterans team.
Ballina touch players Tony Cicchinelli, Tony Webb and Graham Lees, who have represented Queensland and have now been selected for an Australian veterans team.

They're in great touch

THREE Ballina Touch players have been selected for an Australian veterans team after a representative journey that has included playing for the New Zealand Barbarians and Queensland.

Tony Cicchinelli, Tony Webb and Graham Lees will line up for Australia against New Zealand in the 2018 Trans-Tasman series in Auckland next month.

The three filled in for the New Zealand Barbarians Over-55s team when the 2017 Trans-Tasman series was play- ed at Tweed Heads last November.

With their Ballina contingent on board, the NZ outfit had 1-0 and 3-1 wins over Australia to take out the best-of-three series.

"The New Zealand boys were so happy and played with great enthusiasm,” Lees said.

"The team for some reason just clicked.”

Six months later the same three players represented Queensland against New South Wales in the 2018 State of Origin series at Coffs Harbour.

Queensland won the opening game 4-1 against a Blues team that included some players the Ballina connection had beaten while playing for NZ the previous year.

The second game of the series was drawn 4-all.

"It came down to the third game,” Lees said.

"NSW led 3-2 at half-time and went on to win 4-3.

"The series was drawn but Queensland scored 11 tries to nine on aggregate.

"Now we get to go over to New Zealand and win the trophy back for Australia!”



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