In each article, we ask the player to let us know their memories of Hamilton Rugby Club and what they are currently doing on and off the pitch...
This time we hear from Andrew Stephens who played in the 2009/2010 season.
What are your highlights and memories of Hamilton Rugby Club?
Would have to be playing my first game for the club against Falkirk with a great bunch of lads and every game we won boys knew how to celebrate.
Memories: the people the passion and the culture within the club, everyone was so welcoming right throughout the club as a whole made my experience pretty special one.
I will never forget and so grateful I had a chance to play for an amazing club. I loved the Tea Club and all that went with it, making me feel welcome and part of a great team.
What's going on at the moment on and off the field?
Currently playing for Buller my provincial team in the Heartland Championships and have been going really well over the last few years currently on 96 games so hopefully get the 100. I've been fortunate enough to make the NZ Heartland XV from 2011 to 2014. Heartland is the representative level just below ITM and Super Rugby.
All the best to the Bulls family.
Thanks for the update Andrew and remember that you always have a home at the Bulls. Send us the pictures of your 100th game too.
This event comes up a lot in the memories of all the players we spoke to and it's worth a delicate explanation of how it works. Once some of the more 'senior' players could no longer enjoy the bright lights of Hamilton on a Thursday night the Tea Club was set up. Pepsi, Roddy and David G replaced the kebab with a packet of biscuits and swapped the lager for tea and chatted each Thursday until midnight. Trips to the Autumn internationals in limousines and good banter aplenty made this an institution of the club. From dressing Matt Sheen, an Englishman, up in full kilted regalia and telling everyone on a night out he'd jilted his wife at the altar, to the VIP treatment as undercover All Blacks. The Tea Club is an institution that 'locals' and 'imports' all love.
Tea Club Picture: Back: Andrew Stephens, Alex Reid, JT, Piggsy, Russell Coutts, Pepsi, and McGrath
Front: David Gemmell, Jordan Collins, Dave McLean (horizontal), Roddy, and Elvis Levi.
Updated 08:08 - 8 May 2017 by Simon Harrison