Junior 6 and Reserve 3 Reunion over King's Birthday

Celebrating the legacy of one of the great social teams of Marist St Pats, President John Spillane reflects on the J6 and Res 3 sides ahead of their reunion over King's Birthday.

When Soody told me that 41 years had passed since the original J6 team assembled for their first season at Marist St Pats I was a little taken aback - but a quick review of a dusty rugby photo hanging in my shed proved him correct.

So, the Kings Birthday weekend reunion (31 May - 2 June 2024) is all about the 41-year journey of a social rugby team that started life as the J6’s, transitioned into the Reserve 3’s and has ultimately morphed into the Reserve Internationals that continue to represent the Club to this day.

I was lucky enough to lack the talent required to play serious rugby and to find myself in the 1984 team – lead by John Gittings, Paul Childs and Paul Duffin – so I was there at the beginning and I have loved watching the way that this team has developed, changed and adapted over the years.

Throughout this time, the intention of this team has remained unchanged, with the goals being:

1: To provide a place for mates to play a bit of rugby (accepting that not everyone can regularly attend training, be available every Saturday or is born with an ounce of natural talent for the game)

2: To allow everyone who wants to enjoy the social and physical benefits that come from playing this wonderful game to get their rugby fix and

3: To engage a wider range of players and their affiliates to support and strengthen Marist St Pats.

The reunion is likely to draw quite a crowd, as the team has always required big squads to ensure we had the requisite 15 on the field on game day – and if I recall correctly, even then we struggled from time to time (especially for away games to Wainui or if there was a test match being played in Auckland or Christchurch).

A quick bit of math shows that there are likely to be more than a thousand people out there, in the wider Marist St Pats community, that can “boast” a connection to this 40-year legacy – and every one of you (and the mates you knocked around with back in those days) is warmly invited to take part in this celebration of social rugby, enduring averageness and all that is good about the game.

If you played for years or just pulled on the boots for a single game – it doesn’t matter – you are part of the legacy, and this weekend is for YOU! Find more information on the reunion here.

If you are interested in attending any / all of the weekend’s events, please text Soody on 0220805671 or, email nikki.tp@xtra.co.nz

I look forward to seeing you all there.

John Spillane – (Proud former J6 player 1984 – 86)

Marist St Pats President 2024

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