They probably won’t fly themselves to the game but some interesting rugby players will appear in a clash in Oamaru next month.
A Royal Air Force team will play a North Otago XV at Whitestone Contracting Stadium on Sunday, June 11.
The game has come about as the British airmen are in New Zealand during the Lions tour, and the link is former Old Boys and North Otago hooker Stu Philpott, working as a fitness instructor with RAF rugby.
“Stu made contact with me about bringing a team out here during the Lions tour and wondering if we could sort a game,” North Otago chief executive Colin Jackson said.
“It’s nice to keep those contacts going. Our coaches want to have a good look at some players in different positions, so the game works well for us.”
The annual influx of overseas imports to North Otago club rugby is nearly complete.
Talented English first five-eighth Dan Lewis made his debut for Valley last weekend, and Kurow has welcomed two young Englishmen, five-eighth Isaac McNulty and prop Fred Clark, from the Coventry academy, as well as young Tongan prop Petelo Pouhila.
Yet another Englishman, prop Anthony Kent, is arriving soon to play for Excelsior, while an English No8 is due to arrive but has not been allocated to a club yet.
Other imports, including Maheno forwards Mike Lawrence (England) and Peyton Eagar (Canada) and Excelsior centre Aaron Martin (England) have had a couple of games already.
The North Otago Rugby Football Union posted a surplus of $3268 for the last financial year.
That followed a loss of about $50,000 the previous year.
An increase in sponsorship, and cutting back on expenses, were factors in the improved performance, Jackson said.
“We had a reasonable year.”
Maheno representative Michael Hore has joined the NORFU board through the club council, and Elizabeth Soal (Excelsior) rejoins the board, alongside John Tito (club council), Don Roney (Valley), Fraser McKenzie (Valley) and James Symes (referees).
Old Boys stalwart Barry Meikle and Valley’s Tim Petrie stepped down from the board.
Warren Prescott remains chairman and David Douglas president.