Records set to be broken at Australian Deaf Rugby tournament

by Loryn Ettridge

A record number of Australian-based participants are set to compete at the Australian Deaf Rugby tournament in Melbourne this Saturday. 

Following months of campaigning, almost 40 deaf and hard-of-hearing rugby players from all corners of the country will put their best foot forward at one of Rugby’s most inclusive events. 

All the action kicks off from 3:00pm at Box Hill Rugby Union Football Club and is expected to draw a big crowd with a number of local teams jumping on board to compete.  

The Australian Men’s Deaf Rugby side will take on the Melbourne Chargers and Vic Masters whilst the Australian Women’s Deaf Rugby team will front up against a Victorian Women’s Barbarians side. 

Australian Men’s Deaf Rugby Captain and Coach Dave Kearsey said: "Our theme is ‘inclusiveness’ so the day will be played in good rugby spirit. 

"Vic Masters and the Chargers have been so welcoming, and we’re excited to compete in Melbourne for the first time. 

"We’re also using this tournament as a selection trial for our Fiji tour at the end of the year so we have deaf and hard-of-hearing players travelling in from all over the country to show off their skills and have some fun. 

"We’ll have professional interpreters there on the day and anyone with 25db hearing loss can play so I encourage others out there to come down or make contact if interested in being involved," said Kearsey. 

Australian Men’s Deaf Rugby Team: 
1. Dave Kearsey: Port Macquarie NSW
2. Ron Franklin: Canberra ACT
3. Scott Masterson: Melbourne VIC
4. Josh Doe: Central Coast NSW
5. Adrian Underwood: Canberra ACT
6. Matthew Cain: Sunshine Coast QLD
7. Dwayne Fox: Launceston TAS
8. Dave Page: Sydney NSW
9. Aviu Ware: Cairns QLD
10. Shadrach Sale-Graham: Cairns QLD
11. Nathaniel Murray-Fourmile: Cairns QLD
12. Wade Atherton: Newcastle NSW
13. Alex Redford: Canberra ACT
14. Ben Pese Utai: Melbourne VIC
15. Tim Ansley: Sydney NSW
16. Cooper Taylor: Tweed Heads NSW
17. Jin Saeng: Melbourne VIC
18. James Vea: Melbourne VIC
19. Jason Boseley: Sydney NSW
20. Jarred Charman: Melbourne VIC
21. Scotty Shoesmith: Ballina NSW
22. Michael Kanai: Cairns QLD
23. Kristen McLeanne: Cairns QLD
24. Caleb Transom: Melbourne VIC

Australian Women’s Deaf Rugby Team: 
1. Rona Lazo: Canberra ACT
2. Diana Ciufettelli: Canberra ACT
3. Jamie Howie: Brisbane, QLD
4. Sue Frank: Cairns, QLD
5. Loz Soron: Melbourne VIC
6. Taz Browing: Melbourne VIC
7. Emily Barber: Sydney NSW
8. Jemima Blackmore: Brisbane, QLD
9. Freba Zayee: Melbourne VIC
10. Stephanie O’Halon: Melbourne VIC
11. Jaqui Mellington: Melbourne VIC
12. Michael Juam Graham: Adelaide SA
13. Joanna Samuel: Cairns QLD
14. Sydnee Cooke: Canberra ACT
Australian Deaf Rugby Tournament Fixtures:

1:50pm – Melbourne Chargers v Vic Masters
2:30pm – Australian Women Deaf Rugby v Vic Women’s Barbarians 
2:50pm – Australian Men Deaf Rugby v Melbourne Chargers v Vic Masters
3:15pm – Australian Women Deaf Rugby v Vic Women’s Barbarians
3:35pm – Australian Men Deaf Rugby v Melbourne Chargers v Vic Masters
4:00pm – Australian Women Deaf Rugby v Vic Women’s Barbarians
4:20pm – Australian Men Deaf Rugby v Melbourne Chargers v Vic Masters
5:05pm – Women’s ‘Spirit of Rugby’ mixed game
5:45pm – Men’s ‘Spirit of Rugby’ mixed game
6:30pm – Post-match function, auctions & presentations