Emus and Lions join forces to roll out welcome mat for Wallabies

LINKING UP: Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie will be able to give Orange Emus and Orange City players some guidance at a training session next week. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

LINKING UP: Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie will be able to give Orange Emus and Orange City players some guidance at a training session next week. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

ORANGE City and Orange Emus will put their traditional rivalry aside next Tuesday when they get the chance to train under Wallabies’ players and coaches.

Both clubs will put together two sides to be put through their paces by the touring Wallabies, who are travelling through the central west as part of the Bush2Bledisloe campaign.

With several details still to be confirmed, upward of 10 Wallabies’ players and coaches will put the sides through an hour-long training session from 7pm.

With Blowes Clothing Cup finals just three weeks away, some would suggest sacrificing a full training night could potentially be a hindrance for both clubs.

However Orange Emus head coach Andrew Logan, and Orange City caretaker coach Nathan Short welcomed the concept this close to the business end of the season.

“We’re always looking for ways to make training more interesting, and exciting and this is definitely going to do that,” Logan explained.

“It’s a very unique opportunity, the Wallabies have never been this accessible. By now both clubs’ patterns and plays are embedded in their players’ brains anyway, but players and coaches can still learn little things, one per centers, from these guys so there is definitely benefit in this kind of session.

“I’m not sure about Orange City but we’ll most likely have a cross-section of our entire club rather than just our top two sides.”

“Everyone is seriously keen for it,” Short said.

“We’ll be talking about it at training tonight (last night), but I think we’ll just be looking to get some advice on a few little technical things leading into the finals.

“There isn’t really anyone better to learn from.”

All the NSW Waratahs in the Wallabies’ Rugby Championship squad - 11 of 32 - are set to be exempt from the Orange leg of the tour, which is scheduled just three days after the ‘Tahs Super 15 Rugby final against the Crusaders.

The Wallabies also have an open training session on Tuesday from 3pm at Kinross Wolaroi School, before signing autographs and mingling with fans until around 5pm.

From there, they will host a junior training session with six junior sides - four from Orange City and two from Emus - from 6pm-7pm before the senior session.

Afterward, everyone will retire to the Emus’ clubhouse for a Q&A while the rest of the squad will be split between the Orange Credit Union Sports Awards, a cocktail party at Kinross and a social gathering at Waratah Sports Club.

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