Tommy fires up as special guest speaker

He admits he isn’t much of a bowler but there is little doubt former rugby league star Tommy Raudonikis was one of the stars of the weekend’s BCiB Triples at Club Dubbo.

Tommy Raudonikis (right) with Arthur Beetson during their playing days.

Tommy Raudonikis (right) with Arthur Beetson during their playing days.

The Western Suburbs, Newtown, New South Wales and Australian legend held court with bowlers and club patrons on Saturday afternoon before returning to speak at a fundraising dinner that night.

And in true Tommy style, he was forthright in some of his opinions.

“I’m no lawn bowler, I’ll leave that to the guys and girls playing here, but it’s great to be out in Dubbo,” he said.

“Cancer is something that so many people deal with, I’ve dealt with it a couple of times myself, so to be able to come here and help raise money for such a worthwhile cause is great

“This town has produced a lot of good footy players over the years, tough buggers too, but it doesn’t matter how tough you are when you get cancer. That’s why facilities like the one we’re raising money for are so important.”

Well-known for his passionate views about the game of rugby league, Raudonikis said he wants to see more done to promote the game in areas like Dubbo.

He also yearns for a day when the rules return to those we see in the bush.

“The style of football played out here in the bush is like what it was back in my day, a bit gets let go, and that’s the way it should be,” he said.

“This is the grassroots of rugby league in places like Dubbo, but it disappoints me because more needs to be done to keep the game alive out here.

“It’s not professional football out here so they forget about it a bit but if we didn’t have bush football then the NRL wouldn’t be what it is.”