Gary Nichols, David Morrison and Ray Collie - on the selection panel for the Redmen team of the past 50 years.
Gary Nichols, David Morrison and Ray Collie - on the selection panel for the Redmen team of the past 50 years. Adam Hourigan

Redmen legends set out to find team of Golden era

RUGBY UNION: Grafton Redmen turn 50 this season, and while Craig Howe's men will be putting their all into making it a stellar year on the fields, the celebrations will truly ramp up off the field.

In an effort to celebrate the rich history of the Redmen Rugby Club and honour the many great past players, The Daily Examiner's rugby correspondent will head up a team of selectors to choose a Redmen Team of the Half-Century.

The panel of selectors includes former players Dave Morrison, Bob Thompson, Paul McLennan, Gary Powell and Ray Collie all with more than 1000 games of expereince between them.

"I think we have covered nearly every era of the Redmen club with the team of selectors we have,” Nichols said.

Morrison, who is a former rugby columnist in his own right, has acted as the club's historian for a number of years and was behind the selection of a team of the first 25 years back in 1994.

But he said this time around it would be quite a different process.

"It was a difficult process back then, but nowhere near as dificult as it will be now,” Morrison said.

"The hardest part is there is not many who have been active in the club across the entire 50 years, so you have to take a lot from anecdotes and recollections.

"Logisitcally it makes the selection process just that much tougher, but also just as much fun.”

The panel of selectors will decide on a short list of players in each position, with those short lists revealed in The Daily Examiner weekly leading up to the reveal of the team on May 26.

The reveal of the team will coincide with the Redmen's 50th Anniversary gala dinner at the Grafton District Services Club following their home clash against arch-rivals Coffs Snappers.

Nichols said the exciting concept gave a chance for the club to highlight a proud history of success.

"I think a problem with the current-day players is a lot of them don't know of a lot of the blokes who have worn the red before them,” he said.

"This is an opportunity to show them the proud history of the club and how good the players were in the past.”

"This is not going to be the unquivocal best 15 players to ever play for the club, it is a bit of fun for everyone to get involved in,” Morrison added.

The series will begin with the coveted fullback spot, witht he first shortlist named in The Daily Examiner on Wednesday, March 7.



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