Brisbane’s gay and inclusive rugby team, the Hustlers, are looking to re-establish a strong, competitive and fun team, worthy of taking on anything the rest of the country has to offer.

After a recruitment drive earlier this year, they’ve reformed in time to take on teams from Sydney and Melbourne, and host the Purchas Cup for 2012.

Following a seven-year hiatus, the Hustlers have built themselves a new team consisting of well-seasoned players, others with some experience and a few very eager to learn.

Several past players from the Sydney Convicts, who had recently moved to Queensland, also joined the team.

Supporters have also offered their time and experience in managing, coaching and team fitness to help the Hustlers return to their former glory.

It may have taken the team a while to reform but there was a enough interest, experience and support within the community, according to team president Charles Gregory.

“We realised there was enough momentum and passion to be able to reform the team. So we did,” Gregory told Star Observer.

It has only been two months back in action but Gregory said the team is looking great.

“In only two months the team has had a skills session with a NSW Waratahs assistant-coach, fitness training with a former Australian basketball player, and a number of training sessions, all of which have been well attended,” he said.

The Hustlers will be hosting the annual Purchas Cup during the Brisbane Pride Festival, where they’ll compete against the Convicts and Melbourne Chargers.

It will be the first competition between all three of Australia’s gay and inclusive rugby union teams and there’s plenty of anticipation.

“The Hustlers will be ready to put on a show on the rugby field, so the Convicts and the Chargers should not get complacent and should be prepared,” Gregory warned.

During the Pride Festival, the Convicts will be bringing their much-loved fundraiser, Rugger Bugger, to the Wickham Hotel on September 22.

The striptease is hugely popular in Sydney and the teams expect it to be a hit in Brisbane.

“This will be the first time it lands in Brisbane, so I think everyone in Brisbane should be excited – it’s a fantastic show, with some fantastic dancers, costumes, choreography and bodies,” Gregory said.

Expect to see a few Hustlers as part of the show as well.

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

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