LADIES DAY: Wallabies, Reds here for Gympie rugby's big day
RUGBY UNION: Wallabies and Queensland Reds superstars, past and present, will add to the jam-packed lineup for what could be Gympie rugby's biggest ever day at Albert Park today.
Wallabies and dual-code legend Michael O'Connor, who pulled on the green and gold in 13 tests to go with 19 for New South Wales and 18 for Australia in rugby league, will be on hand for jersey and man of the match presentations as the Gympie Hammers hold their long-awaited Ladies Day.
Joining the fun will be Queensland Reds twins JP and Ruan Smith, who visit the region with Queensland Rugby's southeast development officer Grant Dwyer to run training sessions with local juniors from 8.30am.
Ladies Day, put on to showcase the achievement of women in the sport, will also feature six games of rugby from the Sunshine Coast competition, an A-grade rugby match and a veterans old boys' carnival.
Dwyer said the high-profile presence of the Smith twins was part of Queensland Rugby's continued efforts to extend their arms to juniors in the state's regional areas.
"We're going to be running player development sessions with both male and female players from the under-13 to under-17 levels,” Dwyer said.
"We'll focus mainly on skill developments like catch pass, ball carrying and placement, work on the ground and tackle techniques, while the Smith twins will do some scrum work.
"We want these kids to understand that you don't have to be in Brisbane to play for the Reds, there is a pathway.
"We also want to continue our very strong connection with the schools in Gympie, especially St Pat's, Victory and James Nash, and hopefully inspire more kids to pursue their rugby.”
Hammers president Jason McPherson said tickets to the VIP tent for Ladies Day had sold out on Thursday morning.
McPherson said the Hammers women's game would kick off at 10.30am today.
The first Aria Skin and Beauty Ladies Day goes from 10.30am to 6pm at Albert Park.