Travelling with force

By BRAD GREENSHIELDS

COFFS Harbour policeman Brad Jackson is no stranger to playing rugby overseas but he admits that there's an extra buzz that comes with his upcoming tour of the United Kingdom as part of the Australian Police Force Rugby team.

"I've played in the Australian Army and Australian Combined Services teams before but I toured around Australia playing with all of those teams, never overseas," the 31 year-old said.

"I have played overseas with the Coffs Cavaliers teams in Bahrain as well as playing in the American Super League in 2002 with New York Old Blue but this is the first time that I'll be going overseas with a representative team."

The police team will be departing for the mother country on September 11 and the group will be playing matches against some serious opposition in the form of other national police teams from Ireland, Scotland, Wales, England and the highly renowned team representing the London Metropolitan Police.

"The London police have their own force and I played against them before with the Army team," the flanker said.

"That was one of the hardest games that I've ever played so I expect it will be a really tough match again."

Born and raised in Coffs Harbour, Jackson gained selection in the national team after impressing selectors last year in his home town when playing for NSW in the national championships.

"The main thing is just playing some good competitive games."

n IT'S an expensive exercise travelling overseas to play as an amateur.

The police force has gathered significant sponsorship for the upcoming tour but each player is still expected to fork out $5500 to play.

To help Jackson with some fund raising, the Coffs Hotel has organised an auction of various pieces of sporting memorabilia for next Saturday night, September 1.

Starting after dinner, Coffs Hotel publican Marty Phillips is hoping that a good crowd can attend to help Jackson out with even a small donation or the purchase of some raffle tickets to assist with the fund raising.



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