ORANGE residents will have a unique opportunity to mix with key figures in Australian rugby as part of the inaugural Bush2Bledisloe tour next month.
The tour, the first of its kind, involves the 30-man Wallabies Bledisloe Cup squad - named on Thursday morning - travelling to Dubbo, Bathurst, Penrith and Orange throughout August in the lead-up to the tri-series against New Zealand’s All Blacks.
The Wallabies will be in Orange on Tuesday, August 5 as part of the Bush2Bledisloe engagement program.
Several players will attend the Orange Credit Union sports awards, with a host of players and coaches overseeing junior and senior training sessions at Endeavour Oval with local rugby players. Orange Emus and Orange City junior teams will be put through their paces, between 6pm and 7pm.
Afterwards the Wallabies in attendance will oversee a joint session with Emus and Orange City senior squads before retiring to the Emus clubhouse.
“We also have an open training session at Kinross Wolaroi School at 3pm,” Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie, fresh off naming his Bledisloe Cup squad, explained.
“Obviously we are still preparing for the Bledisloe Cup at the same time, but everyone will be hanging around to sign things and engage with anyone who wants to watch afterward.”
The Australian Rugby Union will host the tour’s headline event, the Bush2Bledisloe dinner, at Bathurst’s The Pit Complex on Wednesday, August 6 from 6.30pm.
The dinner will give local business owners and the general public the chance to mingle with McKenzie, ARU chief executive officer Bill Pulver and the Wallabies squad, along with MC for the night, Fox Sports’ Sean Maloney.
“It’s a great way to give back a bit to the fan base, and engage with a fairly staunch rugby region,” McKenzie said.
“We have, and have had plenty of Wallabies along the way come from that area.
“We’ll be busy and there is plenty on, so the squad will be spread out with various commitments. It will be a fairly taxing time but we’re all pretty excited about it.”
The Bush2Bledisloe dinner costs $199 per head, or $1990 per table of 10. Interested parties can book now at www.aru2014events.floktu/register.