Former PM Tony Abbott to play subbies rugby

by Iain Payten

FORMER Prime Minister Tony Abbott is set to make a secretive comeback on Saturday but it has nothing to do with politics or front benches. understands the  Member for Warringah is due to dust off his long-dormant boots and return to the rugby field.

Abbott is listed to turn out in the front row for Forest Rugby Club's fourth grade, in the second division of Sydney's suburban rugby competition.

Abbott was a second-grade rugby player for Sydney University as a student, where he played alongside Peter Fitzsimons and Joe Hockey. 

He played prop and that's where the 60-year-old has been listed for Forest fourth grade, who meet University of NSW at Melwood Oval, a often dusty park footy oval on Sydney's northern beaches.

The Forest Rugby Club newsletter sent out on Friday spruiked the events happening for the club's Charity Day on Saturday and added this paragraph: "We even have a former Prime Minister playing in the 4th Grade match!"

Contacted on Friday, Forest club president David Dickerson said Abbott was a supporter of the club and occasionally was on the sidelines at Melwood Oval watching a staff member who plays for Forest.

"I can't really say at this stage. He is coming to our big sponsor's charity day. It will depend on the day," Dickerson said.

"There is a possibility he could (play). I am not really sure and if he does,  it'd only be for five minutes. Fourth grade is playing for a semi-final position so it might not work out.

"We'll see."