Kolbe team to play overseas

Players Mitchell McClelland, Lachlan Westwood and Callan Matenga. Picture: Elle Borgward d417451
Players Mitchell McClelland, Lachlan Westwood and Callan Matenga. Picture: Elle Borgward d417451

The students from years 9, 10 and 11 will compete in the 24-team COBRA Invitational Rugby 10s competition as one of only six international invitees.

Teams from Australia, New Zealand, China, South Korea and Thailand will join the Kolbe Kangas side, along with representative teams from the 18 provinces of Malaysia.

Team manager and physical education teacher Rick Bunn said the tour would not only give the boys a taste of competitive rugby but would also help them gain international perspective and appreciation.

As well as playing in the tournament, the touring team will take in the sights and experiences of Kuala Lumpur, including visiting nearby mountain ranges and exploring the city itself.

‘The aim is not only to improve their knowledge and play in a competition but for the students to appreciate the Malaysian culture and way of life, foster friendships and relationships with players and broaden their perspective of where they are in the world and their role on a global scale,’ he said.

The trip will be the culmination of months of work, with the team originally selected in August last year and playing in a number of scratch matches and tournaments leading up to the April 19 and 20 tournament.

The school has sent rugby teams to South Africa in the past, but accepted an invitation to compete at the COBRA 10s in 2012 and decided to go back this year.

The City of Rockingham provided the team with a subsidy fee, which Mr Bunn said helped not only with expenses but with the team feeling a sense of local pride.

‘The boys feel as though they’re representing their country and State, but mostly they feel like they’re representing the Rockingham region,’ Mr Bunn said.