A Travellerspoint blog

God Speed


With less than 24 hours until the team embarks, a sea of well wishers for the team has become overwhelming. It has become apperant that many of the squad's fans have been trying to gain knowledge of their depature in the hope of attending the airport to farewell them. Team sources have been tight-lipped about it, requesting fans to instead, send 'Hero Messages' as the country did to Australian Olympians over the past few Olmpic Games.

So, if you want to send a 'hero message' to one of the boys, you can send it via,




The team has stated that they will endevour to answer all fan mail but stressed that due to the huge demand of the European schedule and the overwhelming response by fans, it may take time. But your mail will be responded to by your heroes.

Let's get behind your team and send them your support.

Posted by Jippo 15:53 Archived in Australia Comments (0)


'Pig Hunter' role in jeopardy after Murray finds his Yoko.

With less than two weeks to go until the touring party takes off, the ink had hardly dried on the plane tickets when a rippled rumour became a flood of concern, causing disruption in the camp. Murray THOMAS, who had expected to carry the hopes and dreams of the fans in the role of Pig Hunter, announced he is relinquishing the role after finding comfort in the arms of a local girl, known only as Eva. The move is very reminiscent of Michael Clarke and Laura Bingle’s relationship which caused controversy and resentment within the Australian Cricket team.

The announcement by THOMAS will force a heavier workload onto skipper, Trent DWYER, who carried the burden of Pig Hunter through the 1997, 1999/2000 and 2004 tours of Europe. A touring party without a Pig hunter, is like a circus without a midget. DWYER has not faired well on European tours in the role but lifted his reputation when he excelled in the same role during the treacherous tour of Vietnam/Cambodia in 2007. Only during the tours of 2004 and 2007 has he both skippered the touring party and played the pivotal role of Pig Hunter. Time will tell if DWYER can handle the burden of both roles again. As during DWYER'S debut tour in 1997, a replacement may be sort to fill the role from abroad.

DWYER was quoted yesterday as saying, “Look. Of course I’m disappointed with Murray’s decision. But it is his decision. With the touring party already missing the experience of Ollie in the bridging role, someone has to step up for the sake of the team. Murray has made his choice and although it’s not in the best interests of the team, the decision has been made. He will just have to learn the role vacated by Ollie's 'sand in his vagina' injury and learn it quickly. We will just have to adapt. It won’t stop it being a successful European tour.”

Posted by Jippo 21:39 Tagged preparation Comments (0)


THOMAS shines in new role as "Pig Hunter"

overcast 22 °C

A two day country carnival held in Warrnambool, hoping to test the boys ahead of the European summer, created several highlights that will delight selectors.

The train was not even two hours from Melbourne's Southern Cross Station, when THOMAS, the rookie expected to unleash havoc on the Europeans this summer, pulled out a move from days playing the Dandenong League. Before selecting THOMAS for the Eurpean Tour as "Pig Hunter", it was widely tipped that DWYER, the vetran skipper, with his previous experience in the role would see him hold both. But the selectors can hold their head high with THOMAS' selection, as it appears their gamble will pay huge dividends.

Leaving on a 1.20pm train, the clock had not even struck 3pm when THOMAS reached deep into his bag of tricks and began, what fans are now calling, "The Train Game." This masterfully inventive game was developed by THOMAS several years ago. It has him picturing a target on the carriage on which he's travelling, closing his eyes and imagining himself with her until he acheives a more erect batting stance. For an added challenge he will pick a target not usually selected by other players. To prove so to the media that accompanied the boys on their trip to Warrnambool, THOMAS selected the conductor, a woman that could only be described as Jabba The Hutt's twin sister.
It left this reporter knowing that selectors had struck gold and I predict THOMAS could end up being arguably the greatest pig hunter in the world at the moment. The move will come in handy in the coming months with the tour expected to have up to ten train trips scheduled, emcompassing some 35-40 hours and several thousand kilometres.

THOMAS further enhanced his growing reputation as Pig Hunter when he demonstrated a move that he is hoping to make his signature. It may seem cocky for this European rookie to be making such bold predictions, but when you look at his form in training, its hard to argue that 'Teddy Tiggy' could take Europe by storm in 2009.

Posted by Jippo 03:25 Archived in Australia Tagged preparation Comments (0)



With less than two weeks to go until the tour starts, there are only a few certainties for this European trip. The first is that we land into Rome and leave from London. The second is that we have committed our 30 plus year old livers to two weeks of pain on a Contiki trip likely to be filled with 18-25yo's. And finally, that where we end up inbetween Rome and London is likely to change the night before we leave Rome on the 16th July.

That said, we have penciled in a rough itinerary as follows for those wanting to keep up to date while we are away;

June 13 - Leave Melbourne
June 14 - Rome, Italy
June 15 - Rome, Italy
June 16 - Rome - overnight ferry to Croatia
June 17 - Dubrovnik, Croatia
June 18 - Dubrovnik, Croatia
June 19 - Split, Croatia
June 20 - Mostar, Bosnia
June 21 - Mostar, Bosnia
June 22 - Sarejevo, Bosnia
June 23 - Sarejevo, Bosnia
June 24 - Sarejevo, Bosnia - Overnight train to Ljubljana, Slovenia
June 25 - Ljubljana, Slovenia
June 26 - Bled, Slovenia
June 27 - Bled, Slovenia
June 28 - Budapest, Hungary
June 29 - Budapest, Hungary
June 30 - Paris, France
July 1 - Paris, France
July 2 - Paris, France
July 3 - Edinburgh, Scotland
July 4 - Edinburgh, Scotland
July 5 - Dublin, Ireland
July 6 - London, England
July 7 - London, England

On July 8 our Contiki starts and there is a very real possibility of us having drunk-kussion during this period. If nothing is heard from us during that time, it is because by giving ourselves drunk-kussion, we are lowering the chances of us contracting swine flu. Team doctors have informed us that by consuming 10-15 local beers a day, we should be immune to the deadly Mexican strain. It may sound absurd, but we've got to trust him, because he's a doctor. Like when he told us to strip off so he could give us an injection. It didn't make sense at the time, and it still doesn't now, but i'm not the one with 18 months medical training at Seaford TAFE.

On returning to London on the 21st July, we will be more than likely quarantined in a cosy pub somewhere close to the queen, until the effects of Contiki wear off, before flying out to New York on the 24th July and visiting Obama in Washington for a team photo while we're nearby. We then return to Melbourne on the 2nd of August to what Premier Brumby expects, to be a 'tickertape parade through the streets of Collingwood." Personally, we are not expecting the glory as we are just normal men, doing an extraordinary job for our fellow countrymen. It may take awhile, but one day i hope to see my decendants march every August 2nd in 'Drunk-kussion Day'.

Posted by Jippo 22:04 Tagged preparation Comments (0)


Meet the two blokes that in 2009 will make you more jealous than being a midget amongst dwarves

sunny 31 °C
View Fiji Training Camp on Jippo's travel map.

The Fijian training camp conducted in October for next years upcoming European summer provided some dramas for selectors and also provided an insight into what should be an extraordinary 7 week tour of the northern hemisphere in 2009.

The veteran journeyman, Trent DWYER, was an almost certain starter for the summer tour, with new travelling rookie, Murray THOMAS, a hot tip to join him. The two, who room together back home, became a formidable force during the training camp as they took on the touring Scottish women’s side, hammering them on consecutive nights to take the win. THOMAS was instrumental in backing up his more experienced "away court" teammate.
Steven "Ollie" OLVER, a veteran of the 1999/2000 European touring party was in spectacular form during the camp, providing valuable assistance to DWYER and THOMAS, and was named fan favourite by the locals who watched his silky smooth skills. Ollie held a press conference on return to Melbourne, stating that he would not be touring European next year due to personal problems. Sources close to the big man state that his condition is known as "sand in his vagina", a rare disease that is hard to wipe out.

Jarrod DWYER, also put in a solid performance throughout the training camp, somewhat being adopted by the Fijian crowds in the absence of having a local star of their own. But it didn't come without controversy, with the veteran of the 2004 Thailand campaign, inwhich brother Trent DWYER captained, having to explain to selectors why he shouldn't be kicked off the training camp due to his signature "Dick Dance." His brother came out in defence of the embattled star, saying, "Who hasn't ever done a dick dance? Or more so, wanted to do one? Not everyone is equipped to do it and unfortunately I'm one of them. He's letting off steam, he just needs to find a better place to do it than in a crowded bar."
Another man expected to make the trip next year was Greg BUTTIGIEG, a survivor of the 2007 Cambodian touring party that almost saw fellow teammate, Cameron MANELSKI, jailed in Singapore. BUTTIGIEG opted to skip the Fijian training camp and opt for the colder hills of New Zealand in a weird attempt to adapt. The decision proved costly for the little man, returning to Australia with a swollen forehead the size of his girlfriends thumbprint. It is not known how long the swelling is expected to remain and BUTTIGIEG is hoping to join the touring party for at least part of the trip.
Selectors had hoped to enter the European tour with a three pronged attack and putting THOMAS with the two DWYER'S would have been a masterstroke. But with the younger DWYER in the doghouse with selectors, it is uncertain whether he will be allowed on tour. The Australian Government is believed to have expressed their concerns to selectors regarding the possible diplomatic implications should he be allowed to tour.

Many others were contenders for the tour, but for now, selectors have decided to go with just two. Trent DWYER, has been named captain for the third European tour in a row. Murray THOMAS, will take on the role of Shock and Awe, should Jarrod DWYER not tour. If the fans get what they want and Jarrod DWYER tours, then THOMAS will likely be named as European Pig Hunter, a role previously held by such names as OLVER, S. DWYER, IRVING and T. DWYER.

The boys are expected to carry the hopes of the nation as they take on the best, and probably worst, that Europe has to offer.

The tour departs on the 13th of June 2009, with play starting in Rome on the 14th.

Posted by Jippo 18:30 Archived in Fiji Tagged preparation Comments (0)

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