A QUINTET of first-season Steamers have caught the eye of the Border rugby fraternity but it’s not the type of “attention” they’re used to.
The five — Brad Nayler, Nick Barbara, Tom Sullivan, Sean Armstrong and Lucas Boye — are on the Border as part of their duties with the Australian Army, some as apprentices others as trainers.
An army directive to reach out to sporting clubs rather than to play “in-house” has found them at Murrayfield and all have already played first grade.
They have come from as far away as Townsville and Darwin and, while the reception at the Steamers has been warm, the boys are a little concerned about the prospect of a Border winter.
“We’ll need extra jumpers,” Boye said this week.
“I guess the standard is pretty typical of country rugby — first grade is fast flowing and it slows in the twos but that’s all right because I am getting older.”
Armstrong said he’d been impressed with the Steamers as an organisation.
“The club’s very passionate about its history,” he said.
“We feel like we’ve been here all our lives.”
Sullivan’s plans to play for the Army shifted to the Steamers when the service team folded.
“There is a sense of espirit de corps here. It’s a tight-knit group of blokes,” he said.
“When the army side got canned, we decided to come down here — we work with Army guys all the time, so it’s great to get out and meet different people in the community and have foundations in areas outside of work.”
Barbara And Nayler have played rugby since their junior days.
“I’ve enjoyed playing for the Steamers,” Nayer said.
I’d played for the army team but this is a break away from work and the quality and intensity of the rugby is quite high.
“We do physical training most days but there is nothing like playing rugby, getting knocked over and having to get up again.
“It’s a different type of fitness altogether.”