ORANGE Barbarians’ trial game on Saturday against Villages is more than just a pre-season hit-out.
The Bar-Bars have taken the game to the tiny town of Neville, just 20 minutes south-west of Blayney, in a bid to raise money for the village’s Parents and Citizens Association, Social Club and the Rural Fire Service.
All proceeds from the game, hosted at Neville Showgrounds, including takings from the gate, canteen and post-match barbecue will benefit the three causes, and captain Jason McClymont said, ideally, the inaugural game would be the first of many.
“We’d love it to become an annual thing,” McClymont said.
“We’ll think about taking it to other places who used to have football teams, but have folded, to keep the game in those areas and raise some money for the towns.”
Barbarians will pay tribute to the town’s former rugby league line-up, the Neville-Barry Stags, by donning a commemorative jersey in a bid to remember the former red, white and blues.
“We have a few guys floating around our club who used to be involved a bit out there,” committee member Phil Essam said.
“They had a reunion last year, and the idea came about maybe we should do something for the old club, and this is the end result. Villages jumped on board straight away.”
McClymont said the hit-out will be a good chance to test out his players’ fitness, and to see what the club’s new recruits can produce.
“We’ve got quite a few trials coming up, and this is a good way to start them,” he said.
“We’ve got a big pack this year, which will definitely be a good thing. John Gander (former Orange City Lions prop) and Wayne Miller (former Lions breakaway) have both come over to play, so they should be pretty good pick ups.”
Former Orange CYMS hard man Epa Navale has also reportedly been training with the Bar-Bars.
“We play CSU Bathurst next week, and then we’re taking on Blackheath in our last trial,” McClymont said.
“Blackheath will be the benchmark I think, so it’ll be a good tough trial. We’re shaping up pretty well.”
McClymont extended an open intimation to anyone interested to head out to Neville, donate some money and show their support.
The trial kicks off at 2.30pm.