From ties to tries

Clutha-Southland MP Hamish Walker (left) joins team captain Mark Mitchell, who's the National MP for Rodney, and Labour List MP Kieran McAnulty. PHOTO: Supplied

Clutha-Southland MP Hamish Walker played his first game with the Parliamentary Rugby Team for the Tony Steel Memorial Trophy last week.

The team, comprising MPs and parliamentary staffers, lost to NZ Rugby staff, but Mr Walker said it was still a lot of fun to get out on the field and play with fellow politicians and staff.

"Our average age was probably about 45 and their average age was probably more like 30. We fought hard but we lost 26 points to 17."

Mr Walker said he was lighter than the average prop, but luckily it was a Golden Oldies game, meaning one didn't push in the scrum.

While it had been around 10 years since Mr Walker played, he said he continued to referee in Premier grade games. 

The Parliamentary Rugby Team played three to four games a year, and had a test match in Sydney scheduled in October.

Mr Walker has also been getting ready to host the annual Southland Party at the Beehive this Friday. 

All Wellington-based Southlanders were invited to the provincially-themed event, and Southland staples such as oysters, cheese rolls, and southern lamb and beef would be on offer, he said.

"It's a celebration and an opportunity for everyone to catch up, have a good yarn. 

"It doesn't take too long for a whole heap of Southlanders to get together before the r's start coming out."


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