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HomeSportRugbyRespect, love and rugby: Wallabies legend Gary Ella address to Manly kids

Respect, love and rugby: Wallabies legend Gary Ella address to Manly kids

Gary Ella was one of 12 children, seven boys, five girls, brought up in a three-bedroom house in La Perouse. That he and his twin brothers Mark and Glen went on to be legends of Australian rugby is a tale of love, resilience, respect and rugby, as he explained to a rapt audience of Manly Marlins juniors at Keirle Park on a chilly evening last week.

They’d play football every day. Touch and tackle, half on the lawn, half on the gutter-free road.

“You didn’t want to get tackled on the road,” Ella said. “So we’d pass the ball really quickly. That’s where our skills came from.

“People always said we were naturally talented. But we developed our skills through fear!”

Ella was invited by Manly Junior Rugby Union President Peter Gibson to address the U/10 and U/11 rep teams and “encourage respect and inclusivity, and educate the kids, particularly around NAIDOC Week.”

“The whole theme was about enjoyment of rugby and respect for teammates and opponents, on and off field,” Gibson told The Beaches Champion.

Note: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers are advised that this article may contain images of people who have died.

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