Orange City All Stars return to Lions' den to face new pride

GOOD TIMES: Orange City great Nathan Short, pictured centre enjoying a Lions win in Narromine, is looking forward to the All Stars game at Pride Park. Photo: NICK McGRATH 0519nmrugby11

GOOD TIMES: Orange City great Nathan Short, pictured centre enjoying a Lions win in Narromine, is looking forward to the All Stars game at Pride Park. Photo: NICK McGRATH 0519nmrugby11

SOME of the proudest of the Orange City Lions pride will turn back the clock on Saturday, running out as part of the inaugural Orange City All Stars game.

Set to be staged in the lead-up to the two-time defending premiers’ clash with the in-form Mudgee Wombats at Pride Park on Saturday, the Lions All Stars will take on Orange City’s third grade outfit.

The game is as much about reminiscing about the good old days as it is giving the club’s third grade side an opportunity to get out on the field, with this year’s third grade premiership contested by just five teams following the absence of Central West Rugby Union clubs Parkes, Forbes, Cowra, Mudgee and Narromine.

“The third grade boys don’t get a lot of games, and then they’ve got a run of two or three in a row before finals. This game is just about giving them a game before that,” former Lions player and All Stars organiser Nathan Short said.

“We, Nathan Zinga as well, came up with the concept and we’ve got some club legends, and then some legends who’ve only recently hung up the boots, playing.”

Running around for the All Star Lions will be the likes of John Gander, Nathan Zinga, Glen Atkinson, Dom Maley, David Wickham, Adam Young and Nunn quartet John, Billy, Matt and Ben, to name a few. The holder of the most games record for the club, Mark Merchant will play another.

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With the view of creating an old boys club, Short says there will be a total of 80 registered old boys on hand to both watch and participate in the game.

“I think it’s a similar model to what the CYMS Old Boys have been doing quite successfully,” Short added.

“We’ve probably pinched it from them. Everyone we’ve spoken to has said it’s a great idea but no one has really taken the bull by the horns. 

“I had a bit of time on my hands and got the ball rolling. Zinga has been great too.”

The former premiership-winning prop said the match has the potential to be an annual event.

“We hope so,” he said. 

“CSU (Bathurst) have a bit of an old boys day and I think it’d be great if we got something similar up and running. It’s great because it might get a few of the old guys down who might not have seen the guys play in a few years.”

Saturday’s All Stars versus Orange City thirds game kicks off at 11.40am at Pride Park.

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