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Call for rugby registrations

(Above: Keith Lawrence received the Insignia of an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to rugby. 2010)

By KELLEY TANTAU (The Valley Profile), Public Interest Journalism funded by NZ On Air

Planning for the Thames Valley Centenary on August 26 and 27 is “well in hand”, but registrations have not come in as quickly as the Thames Valley Rugby Football Union would like, its president has said.

“We have certainly found that the inability to post a cheque is a major inconvenience and some people do not have ready access to a local bank,” Kelly Plummer told The Profile. “However, the local rugby grapevine tells us that there are many more registrations to come to go with the 70plus that have already signed up.”

Registrations for the two day event, which coincides with the Thames Valley Heartland Championship match on the Saturday, close on August 1. Mr Plummer said they already had a “good spread” of past players registered, with the earliest so far dating back to 1956. The union’s 2018 New Zealand Heartland Player of the Year, Brett Ranga, along with current coach David Harrison, will also be in attendance, as well as former international referee Keith Lawrence who started his first class refereeing career in the Thames Valley.

Thames Valley head Coach Matt Bartleet and captain Brett Ranga celebrate with the Meads Cup after defeating South Canterbury.

New Zealand Rugby will be represented by vice president Matthew Cooper, from Hamilton. “All 1231 players who have represented Thames Valley in first class rugby since 1922 have now been numbered and these numbers will be made public on the Friday night,” Mr Plummer said. “The editor of Swamp Foxes Alive is putting the finishing touches to the centenary book which will be launched on the Friday night along with an auction of special Thames Valley centenary players’ rugby jerseys.

“After the Swamp Foxes play West Coast on the Saturday, there will be decade photos and dinner.”

DETAILS: Registration is available via the union’s website:
or you can call into the office at 140A Normanby Rd, Paeroa.