Brisbane’s gay rugby union team, the Hustlers, are more than ready for the upcoming Purchas Cup being held later this month in Brisbane, according to its president.

The Purchas Cup will be held as a part of the Brisbane Pride Festival and being played between the Hustlers, Sydney Convicts and Melbourne Chargers on September 22.

Despite having quite a few members of the team that are relatively new to rugby, they have made significant and rapid progress according to the Hustler’s president, Charles Gregory.

“In the last couple of weeks, the enthusiasm, the dedication, and the skill improvement has been phenomenal. If you were to look at us now and compare us to the motley crew that showed up three months ago, you would be amazed,” Gregory told the Star Observer.

The team is also starting to bond and get to know one another’s strengths and weaknesses.

“The camaraderie that has developed over the last three months is really positive as the team looks forward to 2013,” he said.

A few weeks out from the Purchas Cup, the feeling of the team is overwhelmingly optimistic and whilst wanting to celebrate each of the competing team’s numerous successes, Gregory said the ultimate goal of the competition was to celebrate rugby.

“[We’re] very, very excited… there will be around 100 of us from all down the east coast of Australia,” he said.

“We want to celebrate the game of rugby, and the diversity of the rugby community, and just really promote, in the best way possible, gay rugby in Australia and internationally.”

The Hustlers reformed this year following a seven-year hiatus. Several past players from the Sydney Convicts, who had recently moved to Queensland, joined the team.

During Brisbane Pride, the Convicts will also be bringing their much-loved fundraiser, Rugger Bugger, to the Wickham Hotel on September 22 from 8pm.

INFO: www.brisbanehustlers.org and www.brisbanepridefestival.com.au

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