We hope the Phuket International 10s are prepared, because this year the Groote Eylandt Mudchooks are making their Rugby 10s debut. Traditionally 7s specialists, the Mudchooks were formed in 1989 to compete in the Hottest 7s in the World Tournament (then called the Territory 7s) in Darwin, Australia. The Mudchooks have had some success in these tournaments, most recently taking out the Gecko Plate in January this year.
The Mudchooks are a keen group of players primarily based on Groote Eylandt, a small mining island in the Gulf of Carpentaria off the east coast of the Northern Territory, Australia. This year’s team is a relatively young side, made up of players from different football codes.
The majority of the team play AFL, which is the main sport in the Northern Territory to maintain their fitness. But Rugby is their true calling (well drinking may be, but Rugby is a convenient excuse) and given the boys generally only get to play Rugby once a year, (something the guys in the mine look forward to), they jumped at the chance to line up a second time, especially in a prime location like Phuket.
In 2012 Phuket will experience the “chooka”. Equivalent but more ferocious than the New Zealand Maori haka the chooka is performed before every game to intimidate the Mudchooks opponents bringing fear into their eyes and everyone watching.