Lucas Erskine, Kamryn Reddy and Anton Weir have more in common than parents on the Central Motor Speedway Club executive; the three have been selected for the Otago Country Rugby U16 Squad.
Taking coincidences a step further, Lucas and Kamryn’s dads are both “Andy’s” as in club president Andy Erskine and Vice president Andy Reddy. Anton’s connection to the speedway is through mum Cindy, the club treasurer.
It should also be said the passing skills of Lucas, a half back and first five in the Wakatipu High School 1st XV, and Kamryn, a Mt Aspiring College 1st XV winger although a Cromwell College pupil, are not just confined to the rugby field. Lucas is latest of the Erskine family to race on the Cromwell clay as a keen competitor in the youth ministocks coming 3rd in last season’s club points. Grandad Russell races a saloon and dad Andy a pilots a sprintcar. Younger sister Keely was a youth ministock driver but has retired to focus on rowing.
Kamryn came to speedway via motocross and karting, starting in youth ministocks before making the move to productions part way through last season. Both Kamryn and Lucas have played rugby since they were five and six years old. Anton on the other hand was brought up booting the round ball before his mates encouraged him to play rugby. In just two seasons he’s now made it to the representative squad suggesting this is a young open side and blind side flanker to watch, and although not a driver yet, he’s always been a keen speedway fan.
Then there’s Ben and Josh
This isn’t the end of the story of Central Motor Speedway’s connection to rugby. Last season’s youth ministock club points winner Ben Smart lives in Balclutha, which is in the Otago Country catchment, and has also made the U16 representative team.
On the Southland side of the border another Central Motor Speedway family has a representative player in ministock driver, Josh Evans whose dad Stu is a long time vehicle checker at the speedway and mum Jo a former youth ministock grade rep. Also proud of Josh’s rugby successes is uncle, Mark Evans, a long-time club committee member and hard out sprintcar driver. Captain of the U15 Southland Boys’ High School team that this season won their competition, Josh, whose a flanker, has been selected for the Southland U16 representative team so no doubt will come up against Lucas, Kamryn, Anton and Ben over the coming weeks.
Otago Country representative squads are rugby players selected across a number of grades from throughout Central, South and West Otago Otago. Competition at the representative level is generally between Otago Country, North Otago, Otago Metro (Dunedin teams) and Southland. However, as part of this representative season the Otago Country U16 will also be competing in a South Island Tournament Series spread over five consecutive dates followed by the tournament finals in Invercargill on October 3, 4 and 5.