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By ARU Media Unit
The Associates Rugby Club will celebrate a player milestone unrivalled in club history when former RugbyWA Chairman, Geoff Stooke OAM, dons the gold jersey in his 600th game for Soaks.
Mr Stooke joined the western suburbs club in 1975 and has built an impressive rugby resume over his time at Associates. He started out in the first grade side and racked up close to 200 games at the top level, many of them in the dual role of player/coach. He was also the side’s non-playing coach from 1994 to 2000, leading Soaks to three Grand Finals.
His contribution across the club enabled Associates to secure four 3rd Grade premierships while captain/coach between 1991 – 2006. Since then he has played and coached the Associates 4th Grade side and will take the field this Saturday on home turf when they take on UWA in final game of the regular season.
A life member of Associates and of RugbyWA, Mr Stooke has put an immense amount of time and effort into his beloved Soaks as well as rugby in Western Australia and was rewarded for his efforts in 1999 with the Medal of Order of Australia for service to Rugby Union.
In 2000 he was awarded the Australian Sports Medal and in 2003 he received the Centenary Medal for his contribution to sport in WA. Further recognition came in 2006 when he was named WA Citizen of the Year in the category of sport.
Mr Stooke will be cheered onto the field by the Associates supporters before kick off at Allen Park at 3.05pm and will be honoured with a presentation at half time of the club’s KWIK Premier Grade match.
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.