Occupation: Customer Service Assistant
Favourite Team (s): Reds, Waratahs, All Blacks
Favourite player (s): Dan Carter, Drew Mitchell, Richie McCaw, Kristy Giteau but my all time favourite is Berrick Barnes, I’ve supported him when he was an unknown at the Brisbane Broncos (Rugby League) and he appreciates greatly what I do for him.
How long have you been a rugby fan?
What/who got you into rugby?
When Berrick Barnes switched codes in 2005 I was keen to see what the “dark side” was like. I started to go to more Rugby games, which resulted in my immense support for Berrick.
I travelled frequently in 2010 to watch him play away & overseas which was a brilliant experience.
Now that I play rugby I am not able to see him play as much (only at Waratahs home games) than I have done in the past.
However my rugby team are huge fans of him and we cheer him on every step of the way.
What’s your favourite part about rugby?
Meeting big name players, the travel involved (going to new places around the globe) the people you meet & the friendships you make. We are bonded by one thing, Rugby – no matter what country or culture you come from.
What’s your fondest memories involving rugby?
There are so many, but 2 stand out the most, meeting Dan Carter in 2009 when on holiday in Wellington, NZ. I was so shocked to see him in the street I nearly dropped my coffee! And merely 5 minutes later I met Mils Muliaina in a shop!
The second is Berrick Barnes making his Wallabies debut in 2007. I will admit I am disappointed I didn’t get to see much of his journey in the 2007 RWC but I made sure to see his debut vs Japan. I had tears in my eyes during the national anthem & was cheering loudly when he scored those tries.
What do you feel is the biggest issue in the game right now?
I think the biggest issue of the game is the salary cap, which perhaps has lead to a mass exodus of players overseas.
Perhaps also retention as well, losing players like Giteau & Burgess to French clubs is a huge blow to the ARU, perhaps showing them that there’s more to life than the big $$$$$ to retain them to play.
Also the junior game needs to be seriously looked at. Due to the many different weights at different ages due to varying factors, such as the influx of Polynesian kids playing the game. Most Polynesians develop a lot more quickly and it’s not uncommon to find an 80kg 6 foot 12 year old kid around the parks.
Many parents are worried that their son or daughter may get seriously injured due to these “big” kids and switch them over to AFL, Soccer or Netball.
What needs to be done is weight divisions in junior rugby such as what’s rolled out in NZ then this way there is less chance of serious injury & more depth in Australian rugby.
What is the biggest problem you encounter being a female rugby fan?
Being female a lot of fans think I’m a “groupie” and chasing after the players, that is not so. I don’t see the players like that, (on minor exceptions I may!) I see them as people like ourselves but making their career out of professional rugby.
I’m a dedicated towards players like Berrick, and travelled considerably to watch him play in the 7 years I’ve been a fan of his.
Any final words?
I play Women’s rugby for Waverley (Sydney) @waveswomenrugby I’m going to be a top class flanker one day!
Also I am the one who runs Barnesy’s Army a support group for Berrick Barnes, we keep you updated on his comings and goings and try to make a following for him.