Kangaroo Tours..................by Mark Geyer
In 1990, I experienced what every kid playing rugby league aspires to........going on a Kangaroo Tour.
As far back as I can remember, I wanted to play for Australia, I suppose every sportsman or woman does. But there is something really special about going abroad as a Kangaroo.
For a start, itís always been my favourite animal (ha...ha). Seriously, itís an absolute honour to be sitting on a plane next to the blokes youíve watched and admired, now weíre on the same team.
On my tour I was 22, so I was really in awe of the Meningaís, Roacheís, Lindnerís and Eliasís. These players all men I greatly respect as footballers, travelling to the old dart together to take on the Poms...........WOW!
Kangaroo tours hold many great story lines and plots. Going way back as far as the early tourists who used to spend 6 months on a boat just for a crack at the Pommies. But these stories are mainly oneís of friendship and happiness. I made a lot of great friends, that I never thought possible, on my one and only tour. Itís an amazing mix of youth and experience that blends together to create a great atmosphere, both on and off the field. That keeps you wanting more and more.
On the current home front, I feel sorry for the morale dilemma facing our tourists. Will I or wonít I?
Well, if youíve toured before and represented Australia before, thereís every chance you wouldnít be real keen to tour. Thatís your prerogative. But also spare a thought for the younger brigade who would play in Afghanistan if asked and who have no real concept on just how big this whole terrorism thing is.
I applaud the tours go ahead and I think its the English best chance in a long time to upset us. But saying that, I donít think this will happen. We could send 5 teams good enough to bring home the bacon and thatís no exaggeration.
I just hope the tour is as successful as past oneís and that every player leaving our shores cherishes the experience, because itís one that stays with you forever.
Good luck boys...............MG