Bingham Cup players converge for massive training session with the Waratahs
Vaucluse’s Christison Park was a sea of rugby players this morning as players from 24 teams around the globe took to the field for a training session with the Waratahs’ coaches ahead of the Bingham Cup tournament.
Three-time Bingham Cup champions, the Sydney Convicts, who are the host for this year’s event were eager to take advantage of the chance to gain some valuable tips from the elite Australian coaches, with players describingthe session as invaluable.
Around 400 players turned up to the session to be schooled by the ‘Tahs. Wallabies coach Andrew Blade was also on hand to provide plenty of tips to the players.
The Bingham Cup is a gruelling tournament of intense rugby with 24 teams playing six games over three days.
Almost 1000 players and supporters representing 30 gay and inclusive rugby clubs from 15 countries will be in Sydney for the Biennial event, named after 9/11 hero Mark Bingham.
The event is one of the largest 15-a-side rugby tournaments in the world. While most participants are gay, in the spirit of inclusivity, many teams have straight players.
There is intense rivalry among the international gay teams, particularly Sydney, London, New York and San Francisco as well as among the three Australian teams from Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney. Interestingly, Brisbane beat Sydney earlier this year at the Australian Gay Rugby championship.
"Many people may assume that a bunch of gay guys holding a rugby tournament is just an excuse to have big party with a rugby theme, but nothing could be further from the truth,” said Dany Samreth, Captain of the San Francisco Fog RFC, the team Mark Bingham played for before his death.
“We have been training very hard over the last two years and have received strong support from high level athletes and coaches. We’re very focused on winning our third Bingham Cup and bringing it back to San Francisco where the tournament began,” Samreth said.