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Army November 7, 2013
WITH some power hitting by Maj
Darren Russell in the late overs,
an ADF cricket team beat a side
from visiting Royal Navy ship HMS
Daring at the Prince Alfred cricket
ground in Adelaide on October
14. Maj Russell was Army's sole
representative in a team with eight
RAAFies and three Navy players.
ADF scored 8/170 from 20 overs,
with Maj Russell getting into the 30s.
HMS Daring was 4/6 after just six
overs but reached 88.
THE Army Australian Football
Association is calling again for play-
ers for the national carnival, which
will be played at Moorabbin Oval in
Melbourne in from March 30 to April
2014. Army won both the men's and
women's trophies this year. Interested
personnel should submit details at
www.armyfooty.com. For queries,
contact AAFA secretary, Lt Anthony
Davis at anthony.davis2@defence.
THE Army Australian Football
Association women's team is seeking
a coach for the 2014 national triserv-
ice carnival in Melbourne. If interest-
ed, contact AAFA XO Lt-Col Damian
Hill at firstname.lastname@example.org
THE 7RAR team was runner-up in
the South Australian interservice
basketball at RAAF Base Edinburgh.
It lost to 92 Wg Techos 72-64 in a
close, hard-fought game. The two-day
tournament also figured 9 Bde as
well as a combined Air Force team
THE ADF tenpin bowling team
finished sixth in a field of 10 in the
Walter Rachuig Trophy Tournament
in Townsville at Kirwan Tenpin Bowl
on October 25. Queensland won the
Four called up for Walleroos, including
veteran who rides an emotional roller-coaster
FOR a while, Capt Caroline
Vakalahi thought retirement from
international rugby had been foisted
Capt Vakalahi, who has been a
mainstay of the Walleroos for some
years, including the last World Cup in
England in 2010, is on deployment to
Al Minhad Air Base in the United Arab
Emirates as Operations Officer, Joint
Movements Control Coordination.
When she saw online that some
of her teammates in the Australian
Services Rugby Union women's team
(ASRU-W) had received letters from
the Australian Rugby Union informing
them they had been picked in the train-
ing squad for the World Cup in France
next August, she rang home.
"But there was no letter for me," she
"I got back to my office and sat
there silently doing my work while tear-
ing up, because I love rugby so much."
The next day Capt Vakalahi got
some very happy news though. She
received an email from a friend saying
she had been selected. A phone call
home confirmed she indeed did have
"I was so excited I started screaming
in the office and jumping up and down
so much that my OC told me I needed a
volume control button and our OPSWO
told me to be quiet because she was on
"The letter was scanned and faxed
to me next day so I was absolutely
She is also stoked that the squad
includes three of her Army teammates,
Capt Alisha Hewett, Cpl Mollie Gray
and Pte Hayley Sullivan, and RAAFie
Cpl Brooke Saunders, who all played
together in the ASRU-W team at the
national championships in Sydney in
Ten days after the tournament, Capt
Vakalahi travelled to the MEAO for her
fourth deployment since 2010.
She is due to return home in April.
Wallaroos head coach Paul Verrell
said the squad would go into camp early
next year to prepare to challenge for
the top spot in the International Series
against New Zealand and Canada in
May and June.
"We finished third in the last
Rugby World Cup, so we're looking
to improve that position next year and
the International Series will be a great
opportunity for us to assess form and
see what areas of our game we need to
focus on to come home with the World
Cup next year," he said.
Capt Vakalahi, a 173cm, 82kg prop,
plans to retire after the 2014 World Cup.
"It would be an awesome send off
for my rugby career," she said.
If Capt Hewett, Cpl Gray and Pte
I got back to
my office and
up, because I love
rugby so much.
-- a relieved
Take that: Maj Darren Russell
hits a six. Photo by LAC David Cotton
Learning to talk the talk for Tonga
Cpl Max Bree
RUGBY players bound for Tonga had some
special training for the trip, thanks to a
Spr Keli Fukofuka took his teammates
through a series of Tongan language les-
sons in the lead-up to two Tests by the
Australian Services Rugby Union against
the Tongan Defence Services on November
"I've been teaching general greetings,
trying to teach them how to say goodbye,
simple things to help them get around once
we get to Tonga," he said.
He said the players were quick to start
throwing Tongan terms around during their
"They're doing all right with it," he said.
"At training they muck around with it say-
ing stuff in Tongan.
"Everyone's embracing it and that
makes my job a lot easier.
"The fact we have a few islanders in the
team, that helps as well."
Spr Fukofuka started speaking the lan-
guage in Tonga where he went to school
for the first three grades before coming to
"I'm from Brissy and there's a large
Tongan community there; you're still
speaking Tongan and playing rugby."
Now pay attention: Spr Keli Fukofuka gets down to work with
his classmates, er, teammates.
Photo by Cpl Max Bree
Sullivan make the cut, they will make
their debuts with the national team.
Two of the three, Capt Hewett and
Pte Sullivan, also played big roles in
the ASRU-W's undefeated tour of
Britain in 2012.
Capt Hewett, a 178cm, 85kg lock,
said when she saw the letter with her
name on it, she had to keep checking it
over and over again.
Capt Hewett played her first rugby
while on Ex Long Look with the
British military and loved it.
"So when I came back I joined
Army rugby and have been playing
ASRU-W since 2012."
Cpl Gray, a 172cm, 76kg No 8, said
she was so excited when she learnt of
her selection she screamed and jumped
up and down. "I looked like an idiot
but it was the best feeling," she said.
"My Army coach called me to
remind me that 'it's not the grand
final, it's just the kick off' as we still
have a long road ahead of us and a lot
of hard work to do."
Cpl Gray said being selected in the
training squad made up for missing the
ASRU-W's all-conquering tour of the
UK last year, when she was deployed
The pocket dynamo was named
ASRU-W's player of the tournament
at the national championships held in
Pte Sullivan, a 178cm and 67kg
lock, was also over the moon with her
"I have only been playing for three
years so I'm really happy with being
selected," she said.
"I was absolutely gobsmacked to
read the letter from the ARU."
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