Tahs v Pacifica: top rugby at Campbelltown Showground

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Tomorrow night’s rugby blockbuster between the Waratahs and a NSW Pacifica representative side is a major coup for Campbelltown Harlequins.

Club president Col Packer was ecstatic when the match was confirmed earlier this week at the home ground of the Quins, Campbelltown Showground.

“This is huge for the club and Campbelltown,’’ he said.

Mr Packer was more than happy to give plenty of the credit to the man who came up with the concept, Jason Lemusu, a former rugby player who has been running the Youth Pacifica Cup out west in recent years.

He also got the Tahs to agree to play against a NSW Pacifica representative side.

The Campbelltown clash tomorrow night – kick off is at 6pm – is the first of a two match series.

Lemusu, who is also coach of the Pacifica side, says the main aim of this initiative as he sees it is to garner more recognition from Rugby HQ for the talented rugby players in Western and South Western Sydney who have a Pacific Island heritage.

“To me this is a really important part of this event,’’ he says.

Jackson Ropata. TOP: Col Packer and Jason Lemusu.

“We want to see our boys given an opportunity in the representative rugby pathways.’’

He points out that people of Pacific heritage make up just two percent of the Aust population, but more than 50 percent of the Wallabies team that went to the last two world cups.

“That tells you there’s a bit of talent I think, in West and South West Sydney, and we want the powers to be to take notice,’’ he says.

From a Campbelltown point of view, and something Mr Packer is very proud about, is that two local juniors will be playing tomorrow night – one for each side.

Cooper Hanson, a local junior from Campbelltown Harlequins will be running out with the NSW Pacifica squad, while Jackson Ropata has been selected for the Tahs.

Someone else also looking forward to tomorrow night is Tahs coach Darren Coleman.

“That’s awesome for us to take the Waratahs out to Campbelltown on Friday night,’’ he said in a video posted on Youtube earlier this week.

Fans are urged to get there early because players will be signing autographs before and after the game.

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