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Wallabies great Gary Ella to kick off Hunter Rugby ‘diversity’ initiative


Wallabies great Gary Ella will be on hand to launch Hunter Rugby’s inaugural Youth Diversity initiative in Newcastle this weekend.

Touted as one of the most gifted union players of his time, along with twin brothers Mark and Glen, he enjoyed an illustrious career on the paddock.

Ella was a member of the undefeated 1977-78 “Invincibles” Australian Schoolboys side before winning five consecutive Sydney first grade premierships with Randwick from 1978 to 1982.

He then represented the “green and gold” on six occasions between 1982 and 1988.

The legend will attend the Newcastle Permanent-sponsored Youth Diversity in Rugby training session at No.2 Sportsground on Sunday 7 August from noon to 2pm.

The free event, for youngsters in the region, begins with an Acknowledgement of Country and cultural education gathering, before numerous drills run by Ella, as well as players from the Mulubinba Wildfires and Newcastle Pasifika.

“We’re so proud of the opportunity to come together,” he said.

“It’s terrific for our communities to be recognised – and give the younger generations a goal to aspire to.

“The event will focus on developing important cultural awareness education and skills in youth players.

“It’s open to all players under 17, regardless of skill level.

“From those who’ve never played to those who have years under their belts, everyone is welcome.”

Newcastle Permanent joined forces with Hunter Rugby in 2022 to bring together the Mulubinba Wildfires, Hunter Pasifika and local supporters to celebrate the diverse and inclusive nature of the game.

“What an awesome chance for players to learn from someone as highly-regarded as Gary Ella,” chief customer and product officer James Cudmore said.

“And, not just rugby skills but invaluable life lessons about cultural awareness and diversity.”

Newcastle Permanent Youth Diversity in Rugby training session

  • Date: Sunday 7 August
  • Where: Newcastle No.2 Sportsground
  • Time: Noon-2pm
  • Who: Players 17 years old and younger
  • Cost: Free – with a BBQ lunch at the end

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