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April 12, 2012 RT
FLGOFF Danny Bretherton was
pleasantly surprised when he opened
an email that told him he had been
selected in the NSW men's 35s
squad for the touch state-of-origin
against Queensland in September.
He was selected despite missing
the National Touch League in Port
Macquarie in March because he was
called back to base to help cope with
rising floodwaters in Wagga.
FLGOFF Bretherton, who plays
in the middles, has been playing
touch footy for about 20 years and
has twice represented Australia
overseas (World Cup in Edinburgh,
Scotland, last year and the World
Cup in Stellenbosch, South Africa,
But he has never played in a
state-of-origin. Although he's been
picked in squads before, the venues
and timing of training camps have
never been convenient.
This time though he said he's
very keen. The competition is sched-
uled to be played at Port Macquarie.
He's checked his work diary and,
fingers crossed, nothing clashes.
He said he had been looking for-
ward to competing in the National
Touch League this year.
FLGOFF Bretherton, who is the
RAAFSafe safety adviser at 31SQN,
drove to Port Macquarie with fellow
RAAF Base Wagga players, hus-
band and wife FSGT Ivan and CPL
Nicole Petrovic, with whom he had
been training at lunchtimes since
January, in a bid to be in tip-top
condition for what he thought was a
realistic shot at winning the senior
mixed division against players from
They arrived five days before the
tournament -- in time to participate
in a training camp. This was the first
time the team was able to train with
But on day four he got the call.
"We had just had a training ses-
sion and were cooling down," he
said. "I checked my phone messages
and there was one asking me to con-
tact my CO regarding being recalled
back to Wagga.
"The rising floodwater was
threatening to break the levee bank
that was protecting the Wagga
Wagga CBD. If it broke, it was
predicted that the CBD would be
flooded within 30 minutes."
FLGOFF Bretherton flew out on
Port Macquarie early the next morn-
ing, and after five hours of flying
and transiting in Sydney was back in
Wagga about 10.30am.
To Page 23
FLGOFF Bretherton is one of five RAAFies picked in touch
state-of-origin squads. For a report on that and on how the
ADF players went at the National Touch League, see Page 23
Despite answering an 11th-hour call
to help with Wagga's floods, FLGOFF
Danny Bretherton has been called up
to the NSW touch squad
the World Cup
in Scotland last
Photo: Glen Eaton,
Aisle 5 Photography
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