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Ryder and Guildford choose home

When Jesse Ryder takes the field on Friday for Wairarapa cricket against Hawke’s Bay, it will be yet another instance of an international class sporting act choosing to play for his home side.

Ryder has graced cricket ovals all across the world, playing for the Black Caps in all forms of the game, as well as in England and in India’s IPL.

He’s a classy player who is as powerful at the batting crease as any other in the game.

But he obviously still feels like Wairarapa is home, and wants to represent his region.

That is incredibly refreshing to see in an age where All Blacks hardly play for their provinces, let alone their clubs.

How many people even know what Beauden Barrett’s club team is?

Along with Ryder, former All Black Zac Guildford is another who has come home to play.

A former Greytown JAB player, Guildford was a Rugby World Cup winner with the All Blacks in 2011.

By all accounts Guildford is loving being back playing for Wairarapa-Bush, and is playing some great rugby for his Heartland team.

You can see his commitment and passion on the field, he’s clearly giving it his all.

Both players have also had their problems, notably with alcohol, and perhaps it’s that which made them turn back to what they know, to where they came from.

Guildford has said publicly that he wants to forget all the distractions, and just concentrate on enjoying doing what he does best, play footy.

The bonus for those living in Wairarapa is that some of our sporting teams involve players that have played for their respective codes at incredibly high levels.

We need to appreciate that for how rare it is, and make sure we take the opportunity to go and see them when we can.

There are plenty of other regions of our size that will never get that chance.

So good on Wairarapa Cricket and the Wairarapa-Bush Rugby Union for making that happen.

Now we just need to get Ross Taylor to come back for the odd game.

Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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