The Gloucester Cockies’ rugby union prop, Mitch Meredith, one of the most formidable scrummagers in recent seasons of the Lower Mid North Coast premiership, has followed a host of rugby amateurs over the decades and turned professional.
“The Long Flat rugby league club has signed me,” Mitch said. “They saw a couple of write-ups I’ve received and I signed on the dotted line the other day.”
“I enjoyed playing rugby union, but I had a two-hour trip to and from training for Gloucester.
“I’ve got 400 cows to milk and the time factor just became too hard to handle.”
For those unaware of the whereabouts of Long Flat, Meredith indicated it was “a village 25 kilometres west of Wauchope.”
Perhaps significantly, Meredith enquired if the report that Wauchope Thunder had rejoined the Lower Mid North Coast (MNC) premiership was correct, and when confirmed, the impression given was that he might yet return to rugby in Wauchope colours.
Meredith, a 120 kilogram prop forward, “staying trim and training on Bundaberg rum”, as he put it, has helped keep Gloucester rugby club in contention for the premiership for the last five years without quite bridging the gap between the Cockies and the premiership-winners of the last six winters – the Wallamba Bulls (2017, 2018) and the Forster Tuncurry Dolphins (2013,2014, 2015, 2016).
Meredith will be a hard man to replace.
Hefty front row forwards are becoming increasingly difficult to find.
Successful rugby clubs launch their premiership bids from the backs of big men.
The pleasing return of the Wauchope Thunder means that a six-club premiership competition will kick off on April 7 with the draws for men and women to be announced.
Likewise, it will eliminate the bye every fifth weekend.
Prior to the three premiership rounds and play-offs with the grand finals scheduled for August 17, a number of the teams will take part in the Crescent Head Sevens tournament, featuring men’s and women’s teams, on February 2.