Wallabies on their way to Toowoomba
RUGBY UNION: Wallaby gold will take over Gold Park on Sunday, as the Classic Wallabies prepare to do battle with the Darling Downs Barbarians.
Boasting a side featuring hundreds of Wallaby test caps, the exhibition side is looking to put on a show in front of the Toowoomba faithful.
Stephen Hoiles, who boasts 16 appearances in the green and gold, said he couldn't wait to lace up the boots again with his former teammates.
"I think they're more nervous than they would be regularly for a game of footy,” Hoiles said.
"Everyone is excited. Most are looking forward to sitting together, the time in the sheds, the feeling of playing footy again.
"It's what you miss the most. You don't miss the team meetings or training, but the camaraderie.
"It's always a bit of fun in the sheds before the game. I haven't played with a few of the boys in a long time, or at all, which is nice too.
"I remember growing up as a kid watching Garrick Morgan and now I'm playing with him. These sorts of things are exciting.”
It was announced during the week that 116-test veteran Nathan Sharpe would captain the side at Gold Park, and Hoiles said he would put up a good showing.
"There are a lot of good names and a lot of good blokes involved. I'm certain the game will played in the right spirit, and it will be a good day for rugby in Toowoomba and the Darling Downs.
"It has been a good contributor to Australian rugby, so we want to put on a spectacle. David Croft is in good shape and Sharpey has been hitting the gym. Luke Burgess takes the competition from a six or seven to a nine. He only has two gears, stop and go.”
Prior to the fixture at 3pm, the Classic Wallabies will be hosting a free clinic.
"I really enjoyed doing that when playing when we visited the younger kids,” Hoiles said.
"You remember when you were a kid the efforts of certain players. Rugby has had a challenging couple of years, but there are still good stories to be told.”
The Classic Wallabies will also host a pair of school clinics today, with Hoiles, Justin Harrison and Morgan Turinui at Toowoomba East State School and Toowoomba Anglican College and Preparatory School.
For tickets and to register for the coaching clinic, go to www.classicwallabies.com.au.
Classic Wallabies: Nathan Sharpe (c), Alex Gibbon, David Croft, Eddie Aholelei, Garrick Morgan, Gene Fairbanks, Julian Huxley, Justin Harrison, Lote Tuqiri, Luke Burgess, Mark Chisholm, Morgan Turinui, Moses Rauluni, Nick Gregorski, Sam Cordingley, Scott Barton, Stephen Hoiles.