TIME TO REFLECT: Grafton Redmen player and former coach Gary Wilson sees similar values between the Redmen Club and his military service in the army.
TIME TO REFLECT: Grafton Redmen player and former coach Gary Wilson sees similar values between the Redmen Club and his military service in the army. Gary Nichols

Redmen look to evoke Anzac spirit against Lismore

RUGBY UNION: Grafton Redmen's Gary Wilson knows first hand about mateship, courage and sacrifice.

Wilson served his country in Iraq, not once, but twice, leaving him with a legacy of both pain and pride.

On Saturday, Grafton host Lismore City at the Hay St rugby fields with a special tribute planned before the first grade fixture to acknowledge the sacrifice made by servicemen and women of Australia.

For Wilson, both Anzac Day and Saturday will be a time to reflect and honour those who have served their country.

"Anzac Day, for me, is all about reflection,” he said.

"I find it's not only honouring the people who gave their all but everybody who has served both during war time and peace time.”

The former second-grade Grafton and current NSW Country junior coach admits he's found his calling in rugby and added he has found similarities between rugby and his time in the military.

"As an ex-serviceman, Redmen rugby has been a bit of a home for me,” he said. "Having a club that supports the same values as what an army organisation does is pretty special.

"Both have mateship, camaraderie, respect and teamwork. Also the family aspect is something special.

"I think all those traits can be easily transferred over to rugby and being involved in the Redmen club I've seen all those qualities come out.

"The young guys coming through the club look up to the senior players and look for that brotherhood.”

Grafton, who currently sit in seventh place on the Coopers Far North Coast ladder, should prove too strong for cellar-dwellers Lismore City, who are still looking for their first victory of the season.

Grafton second grade will also take on Lismore, while in the President's Cup, Grafton will host Kyogle.

Games start at 12.30pm.



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