Taree’s three Australian rugby league representatives deserve a civic reception, according to Biripi Medical Centre cultural awareness officer Leonie Morcombe.
The trio – Holli Wheeler, Boyd Cordner and Latrell Mitchell – will play against New Zealand at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland next Saturday.
Wheeler, who still lives at Old Bar, will be making her debut for the Jillaroos in the women’s test against the Kiwi Ferns.
Cordner and Mitchell were members of the Sydney Roosters premiership winning last month. Cordner will captain the Kangaroos for the first time in a test match on Saturday. He also led NSW to a 2-1 win over Queensland in the State of Origin series. Mitchell will be playing his first test. He’s been named in the centres.
Wheeler also represented NSW in the State of Origin win over Queensland in the one-off match earlier this year.
“The three of them deserve recognition and I think council should do something,’’ Leonie said.
“Latrell and Boyd have both won the premiership and will be representing Australia. Holli will be playing for Australia.
“They've done our area proud and they’re all great role models. They’re wonderful ambassadors for the Manning.’’
Leonie suggests a parade followed by a civic reception would be appropriate.
“I know they’ll have commitments with the Australian sides but we still have plenty of time to get something organised during the off-season,’’ she said.
MidCoast councillor Brad Christensen backed the proposal.
“Getting three players from here in an Australian team at the one time is enormous,’’ he said.
“And now Boyd’s the captain. We should do something to acknowledge them.
"When we get some positive news for our area we should make the most of it and this is certainly great news.’’
Taree Municipal Council gave Olympic Games bronze medal winning sailor Ian Ruff a civic reception in 1976 that included a parade in Victoria Street. In 1980 Geater Taree City Council held a reception for the University Shield rugby league winning Chatham High School side. Nick Gates was afforded a similar honour in 1996 after winning the Commonwealth Bank Classic and the Australian road cycling championship.