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By ARU Media Unit
Qantas Wallabies Digby Ioane, Van Humphries and Rob Simmons will return to where they grew up next week in a Qantas Wallabies Towns triple-header which stretches across three eastern states.
The Qantas Wallabies Towns project will see 16 players go back to their former schools and Rugby clubs over the next few months to engage the local communities and encourage their support ahead of what is a huge year for Rugby, culminating in the World Cup in September.
Winger Digby Ioane, flanked by good mate Will Genia, will visit his former high school St John’s Regional College in Dandenong in Victoria on Monday before the star pair hold a training session with local juniors at Ioane’s former Rugby club Endeavour Hills.
Lock Van Humphries is making the trip to Moree in the NSW New England region also on Monday, he’ll visit St Philomena’s School and his former junior school, Moree Primary, to host a school assembly and have a game of touch Rugby with the kids.
Humphries will also pick the winner of a “best dressed business” from the 15 participating outlets, including his brother’s newsagency, in Balo Street and award 2x Test tickets and a signed Qantas Wallabies jersey to the winner.
On Tuesday, second-rower Rob Simmons will return to Theodore in regional central Queensland.
He’ll visit his former Primary School – Theodore State School, judge a “best dressed business” competition in the main street, with the winner to collect Test tickets to the Brisbane Bledisloe on 27 August, and a signed jersey, plus he’ll hold a skills session with Dawson Valley Drovers Rugby Club later in the afternoon.
Injured Waratahs flanker Patrick McCutcheon had to delay his planned return to Narromine last week and has rescheduled his visit for May 23.
Skipper Rocky Elsom kicked off the Qantas Wallabies Town campaign in April with a visit to Tewantin Public School near Noosa and halfback Luke Burgess received a hero’s welcome when he visited Maitland earlier this month.
Hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau will appear in Granville on 8 June and props Ben Alexander and Benn Robinson will team up for a visit to Dural on 15 June.
Star centre Matt Giteau has also been confirmed as visiting former school St Edmund’s College during his visit to his Qantas Wallabies town, Canberra, on 22 June.
Special thanks to ARU Partners Qantas, Lexus, Sportscraft and Skins for their support across the Qantas Wallabies Towns visits.
More player appearances will be announced in upcoming weeks.
The IRB has announced its match officials list for the second stage of the 2014 IRB Junior World Championships overnight, with two Australians appointed to referee two of the games in New Zealand on Sunday.