Beccles rugby player heading to Australia

AN ENGINEER from Beccles is getting ready to swap his overalls for a sports kit as he prepares for a six-month trip to play rugby in Australia.

Reece Ling, 29, will be heading to the other side of the world later this month to play with the Nelson Bay Rugby Club in the coastal town of Nelson Bay, New South Wales.

Reece, who has played as a prop for Beccles Rugby Club for 13 years, will be taking six months away from his job as a setter at leading engineering firm Mussett Engineering in Loddon, Norfolk, but will put his skills to good use working for an engineering company while in Australia.

He said: ‘We’ve had players come over from Australia to play with us in Beccles in the past, and I got chatting to one of them a couple of years ago and said that I’d love to be able to go to Australia and play during their winter.

“I never really thought anything would come of it, but as soon as he got home, he checked it with his team, invited me to go and I’d booked my flights within a fortnight – it was an opportunity I knew I couldn’t miss.”

Reece, of Castle Hill in Beccles, travelled to Nelson Bay, which is about two hours north of Sydney, for the first time last year, returning to the UK in September, and he has been lucky enough to have been invited to join the team again this year.

He is due to fly to Australia on March 29 to live for six months with a Nelson Bay Rugby Club team mate.

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He said: “I’m so lucky and I can’t wait to go, I really fell in love with Australia last time.

Life there is so relaxed, everyone is really laid back and obviously knowing that every day is going to be sunny and warm isn’t a bad thing.

“I’ve already done some travelling around Australia so I’m hoping to do some more while I’m there this time, and I’ll be training and playing rugby through their winter season. Everyone there is sports mad, which suits me down to the ground.”

Reece has been told that he can return to his job at Mussett Engineering when he comes back from Australia in the autumn.