Around the Grounds: Paul Peel

Around the Grounds: Paul Peel

NSW Oztag paid a visit to Southwest Oztag last week and had the pleasure of chatting to License holder and Hall of Fame inductee, Paul Peel.

The Picton local has played Oztag since its inception in 1992; his association with the game has since branched into becoming South West Oztag Licensee, alongside wife, Caroline.

Paul started out playing for a local team in the first Liverpool competition and describes his introduction to the game as ‘quite comical’.

“Coming off a double ACL knee reconstruction, I played the first five games in knee calipers… I was like Robo cop,” he laughed.

From that first season, Paul was selected in the Liverpool Men’s Opens side which went on to win the second ever NSW State Cup.

Paul continued to represent Liverpool for an additional five years, before he and Caroline moved to Picton and started a family.

Come 2001, the pair kicked off Picton Oztag, which Paul both played in and went on to represent at State and National level for several years.

Southwest Oztag

As of 2005, Paul and Caroline became the official Licensees of Southwest Oztag and decided to start up competitions in Camden and the Southern Highlands.

Southwest Oztag now run senior competitions at Camden, Mittagong, Oran Park and Picton, as well as junior competitions at Moss Vale and Picton.

“We have over 300 teams at South West Oztag, with Camden seniors probably being our largest competition,” Peel said

Both Paul and Caroline are extremely proud of the growth of their competitions over the years, which are now played across various nights and venues.

“It’s lovely to attend our venues, old and new, and see how our game can branch out and be so consistently enjoyable for everyone,” Peel said.

Pictured: Paul refereeing at Picton Men’s competition

Paul made extremely clear that South West Oztag would not be where it is without his wife, Caroline and her constant work behind-the-scenes – at both a domestic and representative level.

“I would be nothing without my wife helping me… she is the backbone of the operation,” Peel said.

“Caroline and Prue do a lot of back-end work, when it comes to representative selections, uniforms and tournament paperwork,”

“We both have day jobs, so it can be quite time-consuming, but we love it,” he said

Pictured: Paul & wife, Caroline

Australian Representative

Not only is Paul a valued member of Southwest Oztag, both on and off the field, but he was also an honorable Australian representative for 19 years.

“I was fortunate enough to be selected in Australian sides on 15 occasions, between 1999 up until 2018 where I retired from Australian selection,” Peel said.

In this period, Paul represented the Australian Men’s 30’s, 35’s, and 40’s.

He was inducted into the AO Hall of Fame in 2013, and later recognised for his 15 years of service to the Australian Tagaroos.

“The highlight of my playing career was being named the Australian Tour Captain and Flag bearer for the 2018 World Cup, alongside fellow Hall of Famer, Michele Reaney,” Peel said.

Pictured: Paul & Michele Reaney – 2018 Australian Tour Captains
2018 World Cup

However, when asked of his fondest Oztag memories, and why he loves the game, he did not hesitate in his responses.

“My fondest memory would be playing Oztag with my children at a domestic level and coaching them at State Cup,” Peel said.

“I love the game because it accommodates everybody – all ages and skill levels can play the game and contribute,” he said.

AO wish to commend both Paul and Caroline on their continual service to the game and the growing success of Southwest Oztag.

Wollongong Beach Tag Draw & Pools Released

Wollongong Beach Tag Draw & Pools Released

Australian Oztag are set for the return of the ever-popular Beach Tag in 2021, the first tournament kicking off tomorrow, Saturday March 6 at North Wollongong Beach.

The Wollongong Beach Tag tournament will see both Men’s and Mixed divisions play it out on the soft sand from 9:20am.

Once again, it will all come down to what teams can withstand the heavy legs and sore feet in fast-paced, skilful games.

Australian Oztag (AO) look forward to welcoming all teams and spectators tomorrow. Please see below for the Draw, Pools and Map.




Please note, there is another sporting event being held at North Wollongong Beach, meaning parking may be limited – we advise all attending to take this into consideration.

If you and your mates wish to play at the Maroubra Beach Tag tournament, set to be held on Saturday April 24, please email your Nomination form to at your earliest convenience.

Visit our website for all details, but remember: spots are limited, so get in fast!

AO are thrilled that Budgy Smuggler will return to our annual Beach Tag tournaments for another year as head sponsor.

The team at Budgy Smuggler will have a pop-up store at both the Wollongong and Maroubra Beach Tag venues, with both men’s and women’s swimwear and accessories available for purchase.

Once again, Budgy Smuggler will provide the Beach Tag Champions with customised swimwear – designed entirely by your team.

AO sincerely thank the team at Budgy Smuggler for their ongoing support. To find out more about Budgy Smuggler or to shop online, visit their website.



The tournament’s first four Champions have been crowned on day two of the 2021 NSW Junior State Cup (9’s-11’s).

The pristine conditions undoubtedly set the tone for today’s matches – the high standard of Oztag proved testament to all teams’ preparation and commitment.

Today’s atmosphere was a product of teams consistently putting on a show for the sidelines. The energy was contagious and the skill, remarkable.

The greatest upset of the day took place when the East Hills Boys 11’s beat the two-year, undefeated reigning champions, Cronulla in the Division one Grand Final.

East Hills were 3-0 down and fought back to even the scores right before the full-time buzzer, the 3-all draw sending them into an exhilarating drop-off decider.

Also consisting of tight games was the Boys 10’s Division one. With such an even playing field, all top eight qualifying teams were capable of taking out the title.

The Grand Final, livestreamed on Field one was tied up at 3-all come full-time. But after a nail-biting 2-1 extra time, Central Coast came away with the win – defeating last year’s premiers, Baulkham Hills.

Below are the results for the Boys 9’s, Boys 10’s Div 1 and Boys 11’s Finals at the 2021 NSW Junior State Cup. Congratulations to all Champions.

Boys 9’s

Nepean defeated Tamworth 3-0

Boys 10’s

Div 1 – Central Coast defeated Baulkham Hills 5-4 in drop off

Boys 11’s

Div 1 – East Hills defeated Cronulla 4-3 in drop off.

Div 2 – Sutherland defeated Newcastle 6-2

For all tournament fixtures and results, visit the Sportfix app or click here.

Heading into day three of the tournament, Central Coast remain at the top of the Club Champions ladder.

Livestream returns tomorrow on the Australian Oztag and NSW Oztag Facebook page, as well as via Cluch TV.

The coverage will kick off at 10.50am with the Boys 10’s Division two, Norwest versus Tamworth on Field 8.

Australian Oztag (AO) look forward to welcoming the Girls 9’s, 10’s and 11’s and Boys 10’s Divison 2 tomorrow, as they too compete for the Junior State Champions title.

Staff wish to remind all attending that wristbands will again be strictly monitored to comply with our Covid Safety Plan. No wristband, no entry.

Secondary Schools Championships Details Released

Secondary Schools Championships Details Released

The 2021 NSW Secondary Schools Championships details have been released following the recent Government announcement on the return of Interschool Sport.

Below are the confirmed dates and venues for the regional tournaments, which will act as qualifying events for students in years 7/8, 9/10 and 11/12 across the state.

As stated in the Tournament Information, each regional winner and runner up will gain automatic entry into the NSW Champion of Champions to be held in July, Term 3.

The team at NSW Oztag are excited to announce two new regions this year with Coffs Coast and Southern Highlands adding to our ever-growing NSW Schools Championships which now sits at 13 regions.

Is this something you want your school to enter?

Do you want the chance to go up against the best Oztag schools across the state and have the opportunity to make the 2021 Secondary Schools NSW team?

To enter your school, a teacher must download the Nomination Form and email the completed form to Submission and full team payment must be made two weeks prior to the event.

The Secondary Schools Championships will be strictly run to comply with Government regulations and NSW Oztag’s Covid Safety Plan to ensure the safety of all involved.

2019 NSW Senior State Cup: Top Teams So Far

2019 NSW Senior State Cup: Top Teams So Far

It wouldn’t be a State Cup in Coffs Harbour if the weather didn’t keep us on our toes a little bit. As teams prepare to play their final pool games ahead of the finals on Sunday, we thought we’d take a look at a few of the top performers so far this weekend. 

Penrith – Men’s 20s

Penrith have dominated the Men’s 20s division so far this weekend and have won all four of their matches, with an average of just over 10 tries a game. 

Central Cost Men’s 50s 

They say defence wins matches and the old fellas from the Central Coast are proving that theory this weekend, having leaked just three tries in their first four matches. 

Central Coast Men’s Opens

The Central Coast Men’s Opens are also undefeated and while their defence has been on par with their senior counterparts, the Men’s Opens also have plenty of points in them, averaging 11.5 tries per game.

Coffs Harbour Women’s Opens

The local girls are on top in pool A of the Women’s Opens Division 2 and look on track to play deep into Sunday afternoon as they search for the organisations first ever State Cup title. 

Kiama Mixed Opens

Kiama Mixed Opens have dominated the opening two days and lead their pool with five wins and a points difference of 38. Macarthur are also undefeated with the two sides set to meet early on Sunday morning in their final pool game. 


Joe Burns is proof Oztag really is a game for everyone

Joe Burns is proof Oztag really is a game for everyone

Oztag prides itself on being a sport for everyone and 64-year old Joe Burns is proof of that.

Burns lost his left leg in a motorcycle accident when he was 17-years old but has never let his disability stop him from competing at almost every opportunity.

This weekend, he’s playing for Norwest in the Mens 55s division at the NSW Senior State Cup at Coffs Harbour.

“If I can play Oztag, anyone can play Oztag. It really is a game for everyone and it’s not like touch where its all about speed. It’s more like rugby league where you need to use skill and different parts of the game and that allows me to compete evenly against a lot of these guys,” Burns told Oztag Australia.

“You don’t need to be six foot tall or full of muscles, you don’t need to be super fast or have incredible skill, there is a spot for everyone on an Oztag field and that’s what I love about it.”

The former South Sydney rugby league player won five medals at four Paralympics including a gold medal at the 1984 New York games but didn’t play his first game of Oztag until three years ago, almost 15 years after he retired from competitive sport following the 2000 Sydney Paralympics.

“At 62, they needed an extra in an Oztag side so I thought I’d make a return. This is my third State Cup and I can still hold my own with most of them.”

Regardless of age, shape, gender or ability, Burns said he thought anyone that tried Oztag would immediately fall in love with the sport.

“No one treats you any differently and the beauty of it is, I’m a competitive guy and it gives me a chance to prove I can beat anyone else on the field every time I play,” he said.

“People look but no one cares, I’m just another player out here on the field and I’m just as competitive as anyone else.”