One-time SCU rugby player Justin Harrison, right, congratulates Barbarian team-mate Martyn Williams of the Barbarians.
One-time SCU rugby player Justin Harrison, right, congratulates Barbarian team-mate Martyn Williams of the Barbarians. The Northern Star

Uni Rats at Twickers in 'spirit'

A PIECE of Southern Cross University rugby is winding its way across the world.

Eventual destination: Twickenham.

Former Gold Rat Justin Harrison has called on the services of former team-mate Tony 'Moggy' Goodwin to send him a pair of SCU rugby socks so he can wear them when he plays for the Barbarians later this month against Ireland at Gloucester and England at Twickenham.

The Barbarians are an invitational team that was first set up in 1890.

Each player that takes the field for the team wears socks from the club they come from.

Harrison played for the Barbarians against South Africa last December with the invitational team prevailing 22-5 over the newly crowned world champions.

On that occasion, the second-rower wore Ulster socks - the Irish club he has been playing for since switching from the NSW Waratahs in 2005.

However, his deal with the Ulstermen concludes this weekend and he is due to join English club side Bath on a one-year deal next season.

It leaves him free to use the Gold Rats socks.

"He emailed me to say he'd be playing against England and Ireland and said send me some Rats socks," Alstonville-based Goodwin said.

"Although Justin only played here (at Uni) for one season - he's never forgotten he played his first match here.

"He's played in some of the biggest matches in rugby including a World Cup but he rates the Byron Sevens as one of his favourite events.

"He used to always play for the X-Rats."

However, the socks sent to Harrison won't be the easy-on-the-eye blue and gold that the Uni sides wear these days.

Instead, it will be the club's original colours of gold and red.

"I sent him two pairs to choose from," Goodwin chuckled. "Although one pair has holes in them."

Goodwin was part of the 2003 SCU premiership side that included Harrison as a teenage debutant.

A former basketballer and AFL player, Harrison was convinced to give rugby a go over a few beers.

The first-grade team eventually defeated the Ballina Seahorses in the grand final who were coached by Chris Hickey.

Hickey hauled Harrison to Tuggeranong on his next coaching appointment and from there the abrasive forward broke into the ACT Brumbies and the Wallabies. He eventually earned 34 caps for Australia after debuting against the British Lions in 2001.

Meanwhile, Hickey is a contender for the NSW Waratahs job vacated by Ewen McKenzie.

The Barbarians will play Ireland on May 27 and then front up to Twickenham to play England on June 1.

Goodwin and his Uni cohorts hope to catch the matches on pay television.


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