English Invasion At Redfern Merch Shop

It’s not often a story comes to you and its very rare that it’s in the room next door.

Making myself a bland English breakfast tea in the kitchen on a slow hump day I noticed dark shadows through the opaque office windows leading into the South Sydney Rabbitohs Merch shop.

Curious to see what all the commotion was about I opened the door to a packed merch store full of smiley, happy faces.

I ran straight back to my desk to grab the camera, trying my best to ignore the now burning sensation on my hand as my boiling hot tea splashed out of the mug onto my exposed skin.

I got back to the shop to see school kids dressed in sports uniform busily trying on various different Rabbitohs accessories. I tracked down ‘the boss’ for a small chat to discover who they were.

I learnt that South Sydney Rabbitohs were today being greeted by unlikely visitors, Crosfields ARLFC, a local Rugby League club all the way from Warrington England.

”This is the under 10s team we have here, which have been fundraising over the last two years to support this trip,” said club official Lee Westwood.

“It’s fantastic that we got here and it been a great experience.”

Crosfields juniors are in Sydney for a three game tour. Although, they also found time to visit Cables Wake Park in Penrith among other site-seeing activities.

“We’ve played three games over here against Emu Plains and twice against St Marys who we’ll play again tonight for a third and final game,” said Westwood.

Speaking to three of the junior players I asked whether they enjoyed splashing about in water parks or playing Rugby League more. They made it very clear where their priorities late.

“Rugby league!” shouted one enthusiastic youngster.

Heralding from the UK it was no surprise that many of the kid’s favourite player was our very own Sam Burgess.

I then dared to ask who their favourite team was, a question that was met by a large bellow from everyone in attendance.

“Warrington!”

Unfortunately, the young Wolves fans will miss England’s crunch match with Lebanon this weekend but Lee Westwood says their time in Australia won’t be forgotten quickly.

“We’ve had an amazing experience over here, everyone who has been involved has treated us unbelievably well and we would love to comeback sometime soon.”