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Tameside police officers to represent GB Police Rugby League in Australia

Three Tameside police officers have been selected to represent the GB Police Rugby League Team and will be flying out to Australia to play their Australian counterparts at the end of this month.

Departing for Sydney on February 26, Sgt Ben Marsden, Sgt Robert Froggatt, and assistant coach PC James Forster will be part of the 23-strong Great Britain Police Rugby League squad.

On Sunday morning, February 4, Barrie McDermott, former Oldham and Leeds prop forward, generously dedicated his time to attend the squad training session - he provided valuable advice to the team regarding their upcoming trip and presented them with their Australia 2024 tour squad shirts.

Team manager Chris Cowling said: "Touring is something that's sort of been engrained within police rugby league for years - we like to take our brand and represent it on foreign shores, testing ourselves against the best. It's a fantastic achievement for these guys and everyone involved."

With 28 members in the touring party in total - including the physiotherapist, coaching staff and management - the team will be playing two games over there against the Australian police and New South Wales police rugby league side.

Barrie said: "Representing your country is always a great honour, it's one of the best parts of sport, but to do it on foreign shores has a lot of challenges and things that will really test you. I always felt like it brought out the best in me and I'm sure it'll be the same for this team as well.

"Having done this quite a few times and been lucky to do so, I've done it well and been proud of that and then there have been times when I've made some mistakes as well so learning from that is always part of life.

"I spoke to [the team] about being a good tourist, please and thank you goes a long way. Just because you're the guy kicking the goals and scoring the tries, that doesn't mean it's all about you - it's about how you can help everybody around you.

"Being a good support person is crucial when you're away from home and dealing with the logistics of that; lending a hand, carrying a massage bed, carrying a kit bag and clearing cones after training. It's all part of being a valuable team member."

The squad's last tour was Vancouver in 2017 and prior to that they were able to play in Jacksonville, Florida.



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