Two players from the Central West have been named in the first ever Australian Police Rugby Union side, which will travel to Canberra next Friday.
Orange’s Sarah Archer and Bathurst’s Marita Shoulders – who both work as police officers in Bathurst – will be in the side will take on a combined Australian Defence Force outfit.
However, it’s not just bragging rights on the line, as the members of the police side will be looking to stake a claim on a spot in the International Police Championships, which will be played in Hong Kong in September 2019, just before the World Cup.
Both Archer and Shoulders played with the Bathurst Bulldogs last year, which was Archer’s first playing union after years of league tag, before moving back to play with Cargo in season 2018.
The pair have also played for the NSW side this year.
Archer, who also played for the Western Rams Rugby League side this year, said she was “over the moon” at being picked.
“It’s such a great opportunity to get selected,” she said.
“If I get the chance I’ll absolutely look to go to the championships.”
The competition will be slightly different to what the pair is used to, with-15 a-side rugby played over longer halves set to test them.
However, Shoulders said she was excited for the change, preferring the 15-a-side format to the 10-a-side she’s used to.
“I like the structure, I really enjoy it when everyone has their roles and you don’t have to do as much,” she said.
“In 10s you’re running all over the place, it’s nice to have that organisation.”
She said the station in Bathurst had been “fantastic” in supporting the pair and getting behind them to head to Canberra next week, with Archer and Shoulders due to head into base camp next Tuesday to meet the rest of the squad, who will be coming far and wide from all over the country.
The match will be held at Portsea Oval, Duntroon, and will kick off at 3pm on Friday, June 22.