Shoalhaven players prepare to show their Anzac spirit

NEW DESIGN: Digger Day organiser Rick Meehan shows off the specially designed 2014 Digger Day jerseys.

NEW DESIGN: Digger Day organiser Rick Meehan shows off the specially designed 2014 Digger Day jerseys.

SHOALHAVEN Rugby Club hope their third annual Digger Day clash will be the charm that can secure them a win on Saturday, August 2 at Shoalhaven Rugby Park.

Coming up against fifth placed Camden, eighth-placed Shoals will have their work cut out for them, but the club hopes the spirit of the day will give the home side the boost they need to win. 

Digger Day is a joint project with the Nowra-Greenwell Point RSL sub-branch and Shoals will be fund-raising for defence charities Soldier On and Defence Care, as well as to the Nowra-Greenwell Point RSL sub-branch.

Shoals will be wearing specially designed jerseys, this year depicting a warship and troops sailing away for Albany and world conflict.

Rick Meehan has organised Digger Day since its inception and said the day was not just about sport.    

“It’s a great day, it’s more about paying tribute to past and present diggers and current servicemen and servicewomen,” he said.

“While we [Shoals] have not played too well in the last two games, if the guys put the effort in, when they put on that jersey they usually emulate what that Anzac spirit is all about.”   

The reserve grade competition will kick off at noon, with the official festivities starting at 1.30pm with the arrival of the Red Beret Parachute Display team.

Last surviving recipient of the Victoria Cross, under the imperial system and living legend Keith Payne will arrive next with the game ball aboard an Iroquois helicopter, followed by World War II Diggers Henry Hall and Roy Cornford in a Bell 429 from the 723 Squadron.

At 1.50pm Mr Payne will meet the players and dignitaries before the Last Post is played.

Luke Meehan will start the first grade game with kick-off at 2.40pm.

At the end of the day the jerseys will be auctioned off for charity, including one framed jersey signed by Mr Payne and Victoria Cross recipient Daniel Keighran. 

“Every year we have raised in excess of $10, 000 which is a really good effort from a small country town,” Mr Meehan said.