Wauchope Thunder host Manning River Ratz in annual John Tavaga Memorial Day

Memorial day: Wauchope Thunder first grade coach Dean Hawkins and first grade halfback and jersey co-designer Aaron Robinson are ready for Saturday's annual John Tavaga Memorial Day.
Memorial day: Wauchope Thunder first grade coach Dean Hawkins and first grade halfback and jersey co-designer Aaron Robinson are ready for Saturday's annual John Tavaga Memorial Day.

Wauchope Thunder will host the Manning River Ratz in the club's annual John Tavaga Memorial Day.

The game is on Saturday at Wauchope's Andrews Park.

In a continuation of the five year tradition, club members Paddy Bowen and Aaron Robinson have created another stunning memorial jumper to be worn on the day.

The jerseys are available for online auction, however players will have the chance to purchase their playing jumper.

While the playing strip remembers 'JT' and his late wife Taegan McNamara-Tavaga, this year's jersey also recognises former player Jeremy 'Whudz" Waitoa and Carly Rose Taylor, the sister of current team members or supporters Ricky, Brett and Toolie, said first grade coach Dean Hawkins.

"Paddy and Aaron have done another outstanding job with the memorial jersey this year," he said.

"Our club is very proudly based on strong family traditions and ties.

"This is a really big day for our club.

"All money raised through the jersey auction will be donated to a range of community groups."

Hawkins said the meaning of the memorial day was about family and respect.

He said the club was very respectful and will always remember and acknowledge club and family members.

As a mark of that respect, the club's two sides will retire the number 12 and number 9 jerseys for memorial day.

"We are a very big family club," Hawkins added.

We are a very big family club.

Dean Hawkins

The coach said everyone within the club buys into the culture of what we are doing.

Robinson said he was 'unsure' where the design for the 2019 jersey came from.

"It just happens," he said.

"The black and white was chosen for Whudz favourite team the All Blacks.

"His Ta moko is featured across the chest, drawn up from photos by the talented Walter Hati.

"His tribes haka features down the side, used with permission from his family.

"The women's jersey and pink rose on the men's jersey pays tribute to Carly Rose Taylor.

"Carly's brothers Ricky, Brett and Toolie are current players," he said.

"The Taylor family have been great supporters of the club and we will celebrate the lives of these two legends on Saturday (June 22)."

Robinson said the five jerseys produced for memorial day all gave a nod to JT and Taegan.

Bidding for four of the 2019 jerseys is available now online at ebay.

The winner of Saturday's match between the Thunder and the Ratz take home the Taegan Cup.

The Thunder currently sits on third place on the competition ladder with the women's team undefeated and playing wonderful rugby union.

The women's game starts at 1.45pm with the men taking the field at 3pm.

What else is making sport:

Comments