Port Macquarie crew to play for Australian oztag team in Ireland in July

Off to Ireland: Matt Rullis, Claire Thurlow, Di Lawrence and Nathan Thurlow are looking forward to representing Australia. Photo: Matt Attard
Off to Ireland: Matt Rullis, Claire Thurlow, Di Lawrence and Nathan Thurlow are looking forward to representing Australia. Photo: Matt Attard

AN awesome foursome of Port Macquarie oztag players are off to Ireland next month for two weeks of action.

Nathan and Claire Thurlow, Di Lawrence and Matt Rullis have been selected for Australia in the touring squad that will travel the country.

​The tour goes from July 9 to July 24. The teams - women’s open, men’s open, women’s senior, men’s senior, mixed open and a mixed senior team - will play tour matches against Regional Irish teams throughout the cities of Cork, Limerick, Galway and Dublin

The tour will conclude with a tri-series of test matches against the Ireland and Great Britain national teams.

Husband and wife Nathan and Claire Thurlow were thrilled to be making the trip.

“It’s great to be able to go and play the sport you love, and see a beautiful part of the world at the same time. I’m really looking forward to it,” Nathan said.

Claire said that having played for Australia in the World Cup in 2015 this seemed like the next natural progression to develop her skills further.

“My next goal is selection in the next World Cup in Coffs Harbour next year,” she said.

“I want to get a run in as many sides as possible, and whichever goes through in the Tri Nations series I’d love to come away with the win.

“This would have to be the highlight for me in the 10 years I’ve been playing. You can’t beat playing for your country.”

Di Lawrence has never travelled overseas for sport before, and wants to learn all she can on her time overseas.

“When the opportunity arose it was too hard to say no. Our ladies coach is Perry Haddock, who founded Oz Tag, so to learn from him is going to be amazing,” she said.

Last but not least is the very experience Matt Rullis, who has been playing the sport for 18 years.

His experience will be invaluable to the squad and he hopes to tick one more achievement off his list.

“I haven’t played a World Cup before. I’ve done pretty much everything else so hopefully I can impress,” he said.

“I’ve got heritage in Ireland, my Nan is Irish, and to couple that with playing against all different levels of players is going to be great.”