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Rugby Australia has today paid tribute to the sport’s Queens Birthday Honours recipients for 2018.

A total of seven recipients named among the outstanding contributors to Australian society were acknowledged for their service to Rugby Union, headlined by Rugby Union Players Association (RUPA) Chairman, Bruce Hodgkinson, and Moruya’s Robert Bradley, who both received an AM.
Hodgkinson was awarded membership of the Order of Australia for significant service to community health through cancer support and awareness programs, for his work as Chair of Cancer Council NSW. He was also acknowledged for his role with RUPA, particularly with regards to player welfare.

Bradley received his AM for significant service to sport through management and community development, and as an advocate for health and water safety initiatives. He was instrumental in the creation of the Australian national women’s XVs team, the Wallaroos, when he worked with the national union in the early 90’s.

Five other key members of the Rugby community were awarded for their service to the game and their local communities.

Queensland’s Geoff Barton, and the ACT region’s Geoff Larkham and Richard Cordy each received the medal of the Order of Australia exclusively for service to Rugby Union.

Barton was awarded for his service to Queensland Country Rugby Union in various roles, while both Larkham and Cordy served as Board Directors of the Brumbies and were tributed for their contribution to their local clubs – Cordy with the Tuggeranong Vikings, and Larkham with Western Districts Rugby Club in Canberra. Larkham served as President of the ACT and Southern NSW Rugby Union from 2004-2015 and is father of former Wallabies great and current Wallabies Assistant Coach, Stephen Larkham.

In Sydney, St Ives Rugby Club life member and former Vice President, Peter Thomson was credited with an OAM for his service to the community through a range of volunteer roles.

Former Cairns Rugby Union President, the late Charles Woodward was awarded a posthumous OAM for significant services to tourism in north Queensland.

Rugby Australia Chief Executive, Raelene Castle said: “Today we send a special thanks to Rugby’s Honours recipients, each of whom have made an outstanding contribution to Rugby and to society.

“These individuals have dedicated a large part of their lives to Rugby and have had a significant impact on running, growing and promoting our game in their regions.

“We know that there are hundreds more just like our Honours recipients, who are contributing so much to the sport in their own communities and today we pay tribute to each of them. Without them, our game would not be in the position it is today as one of the country’s favourite sports.”