One week on from The Bingham Cup, as most of our squad has made their way home (many to play footy the day they arrived back!), I have reflected on what a wonderful adventure it all was. Thanks to the Nashville Grizzlies and IGR for hosting us and all the other teams – what a battle it was out there on the pitch, with lifelong friendships were formed off it.
Congratulations to both the Sydney Convicts and Melbourne Chargers on making the final, and the Chargers coming away with the top silverware for the first time! Inclusive Rugby is strong in Australia, and I could not be prouder. The competition is as fierce as the post match beers are sweet – we will be there again next time looking to take out our first Cup.
To all our players, our coaches and support staff, tour managers and supporters who made the trip over, words cannot express my gratitude for your time, effort and dedication over the last 12 months. I know you put everything in, and I could never ask for more. My love and pride in you is never-ending.
Last but not least, thanks to all of our sponsors and supporters back home – everyone who comes to our games and events. We would not have made it all the way to Nashville without you. Your boys did you proud in Hustlers (and Phoenix Storm) jerseys and will continue to for the rest of the season. We have a special group who will continue to grow and succeed, and a club with a culture that will continue to prosper!
I look forward to seeing you all again soon.
Why is a Brisbane Rugby Union Club going to Nashville Tennessee to play Rugby?
There are many reasons, but if only one answer could be given it is simple: pride.
The biannual Bingham Cup was last held in 2014 in Sydney where the Brisbane Hustlers were defeated in the grand final after a challenging campaign.
Now the Brisbane Hustlers are heading to Nashville on the 23rd of May to contest again for the Bingham Cup, putting the club pride on the line. One the great things, however, about the Bingham Cup is that there is more than pride club involved in the intense completion of more than 1,000 players from all corners of the world.
The name of the cup itself is a source of pride and inspiration. Mark Bingham, who, an imposing figure at 194 centimetres and 102 kilograms, played rugby while a student at the University of California, winning national championships. He was instrumental in founding the San Francisco Fog Rugby Union Football Club in 2000, making it one of the first gay-inclusive teams.
Unfortunately Mark did not get to see the Fog grow, as he was a passenger on Flight 93, on September the 11th. Mark, never someone to just stand by and let something bad happen, hatched a plan with fellow passengers Todd Beamer, Tom Burnett and Jeremy Glick, to storm the cockpit and overpower the hijackers. The actions of the group brought the plane down into a remote field – thwarting the terrorists intended target of the White House, and while all on board were killed, many lives were spared by the actions of the group.
So as a club the Brisbane Hustlers go to Nashville with every intention of bringing back some serious silverware, but we also go to be part of something more that is founded on inclusiveness, bravery and integrity.
#hustlerpride #binghamcup #Nashville #Brisbane #rugby
The Brisbane Hustlers will be locking horns with the Easts Longhorns tonight at Easts Rugby Union Club in Norman Park for the Hustlers’ first Rainbow Round.
In honour of the Skins Australia Rainbow Laces and #KnotMe campaign, this will be the Hustlers’ second friendly with the Longhorns in as many years and the club’s third friendly game as they prepare for the 2016 QSRU Season.
Club president Marty Tebbutt says that this is more than just a game for the clubs, whose members train on the same fields.
“The Easts Longhorns has always been very supportive of the Hustlers and while we train at the same times during the week, we rarely get the opportunity to test our skills against one another.”
“We’re looking forward to have this chance to play against them again, especially because it’s for a cause that the club’s strongly advocates for and embodies.”
“We are sending a message that playing rugby is what brings us together and anyone, regardless of sexuality, is welcome to be a part of it.”
The Rainbow Laces campaign was conceived by Skins Australia in partnership with Pride in Diversity to raise awareness of homophobia in sport. This was to highlight the outcomes of an international study in 2015 “Out On The Fields” where 73% of gay men surveyed felt that homophobia was more common in team sports than other parts of society.
“Homophobia anywhere is not on. In sport, the only thing that should matter is how you perform on the field.”
The Brisbane Hustlers won against the Longhorns at their first friendly in 2015.
The Brisbane Hustlers returned to Tyalgum Ridge Retreat in late January 2016 for their annual Rugby Boot Camp.
This year saw many of our players return from 2015, and our largest intake of new players. With the Bingham Cup in Nashville coming up in May, the weekend was spent introducing our new and less experienced players to the fundamentals of the sport, and the more experienced players turned their focus to strategy.
When the boys weren’t on the field, they spent their time on team building challenges, rugby trivia, and the mother of all dance competitions.
After a successful weekend of training, the Brisbane Hustlers are focussed and determined to take out the Bingham Cup in May, and the Scotney Cup back home in Brisbane.
Thanks to Karen and the team at Tyalgyum Ridge Retreat for the amazing food and hospitality over the weekend!
Check out more photos from the 2016 Boot Camp on our Facebook.
The Brisbane Hustlers Boot Camp is an annual event held for all players prior to start of the playing season. If you’re interested in joining the Hustlers, send the team a private message via their Facebook page.
The Brisbane Hustlers welcomes former Wallaby and Australian Rugby Union veteran Brendan Cannon to its coaching team.
Brendan Cannon is a force in rugby union. Prior to his retirement in April 2007, Cannon was capped 42 times for Australia. He has also played for the Reds, Waratahs and Western Force, playing 106 Super Rugby games between 1996 and 2007.
Head coach Darren Hegarty said that securing Mr Cannon was a major coup for the Brisbane Hustlers.
“Having someone of Brendan’s calibre and experience is not only inspiring for the boys, it’s also going to help us launch strongly into the 2016 rugby season.”
Club president Marty Tebbutt said that the Hustlers are ready to hit the ground running.
“Brendan is going to make a massive contribution to the team in terms of building skills and imparting his vast knowledge of the game. This will be of enormous benefit for both our new and existing players alike.”
“Having Brendan on board is a massive coup for the Hustlers, and will help us present a very competitive side this year.”
Brendan Cannon handing out some advice to the boys at a training session.
The Brisbane Hustlers will be competing for the Scotney Cup, Queensland Suburban Rugby’s 4th grade division. The Hustlers will also be heading to Nashville, Tennessee as a second seed in the Bingham Cup in May.
The Brisbane Hustlers, Queensland’s only gay and inclusive rugby union team, is based at Easts Rugby Union Football Club in Norman Park. Training sessions are held every Monday and Wednesday from 6:30PM. Everyone, regardless of rugby skills and knowledge, is welcome to attend.
Media contact: Marty Tebbutt