Barrett family members (back, from left) John Barrett, Ron Barrett and Leo Barrett and (front) Mary Hamblin and Joan Bourke with the Barrett Family Shield at Platz Oval.
Barrett family members (back, from left) John Barrett, Ron Barrett and Leo Barrett and (front) Mary Hamblin and Joan Bourke with the Barrett Family Shield at Platz Oval. Wendy Rees

Wattles in full bloom

NEW Wattles coach Ken Riddiford has his side primed for a top performance against Warwick in the Barrett Shield game in A-grade tomorrow night at Father Ranger Oval. Wattles beat Souths 34-18 last weekend in the first win by the club since beating Oakey in April last year.

This weekend will be a significant challenge, Barrett Shield clashes breed a special intensity in the local derby.

Warwick has had the better of results in recent seasons, with four consecutive wins since 2007.

They have won the coveted award 10 times since its inception in 1993, while Wattles can boast seven successes.

The trophy was shared in 2000, the award’s only drawn result.

While Riddiford is quietly planning for Wattles to reclaim the trophy, club president Barry Glass would like nothing more than to see the award returned to Platz Oval, considered by many as is its home.

The Barrett Family Shield concept was born at a Wattles committee meeting in 1992 when club secretary and father of current president Barry Glass, Peter Glass, suggested a perpetual trophy be introduced for the annual pre-season trial between the neighbouring clubs Wattles and Warwick.

Wattles president Mary Hamblin (nee Barrett) offered a trophy in the Barrett family name.

The Barrett name is synonymous with rugby league throughout south-west Queensland.

The family has strong rugby league links in the Southern Downs area, its roots with the Warwick and Wattles clubs.

Current and former NRL players Kirk Reynoldson, Tony Duggan, Travis Burns, Frank Barrett, Jordan Atkins, Michael Coorey and Simon Scanlan all appeared in shield matches.

Many Barretts and Hamblins have played for the two clubs and others have done well as administrators. Frank Barrett is now general manager of communications with Melbourne Storm

Tomorrow night will see the 19th contest for the Barrett Shield, this year hosted at Warwick’s Father Ranger Oval, the first match played at the venue since it suffered flood damage in December and January.

The first of three games will start at 4pm.


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