The UniDive Gauls in training. Picture: Doug Stetner
The UniDive Gauls in training. Picture: Doug Stetner
1 April 2015

The inaugural Pan Pacific Underwater Rugby Championships will be held in Brisbane this weekend, hosted by The University of Queensland team, the UniDive Gauls.

Team captain Lachlan Pollard said the competition would be held at the Sleeman Aquatic Centre on Saturday and Sunday.

“For some years, Australia and New Zealand have been playing for the Hunter Cup, currently held by Australia,” Mr Pollard said.

“The Pan Pacific competition is the first time a team from Asia will compete in Australia. Singapore is sending two teams.”

The competition also would serve as the Australian championships. The Gauls would have two teams representing Queensland against teams from NSW, Tasmania and Victoria.

“Underwater rugby is played in a deep pool, maximum depth of five metres, with teams of 12,” Mr Pollard said.

“Six players from each team are in the water at one time and they use the bench regularly to recover their breath. The goals are on the bottom of the pool and the positions are forward, back and goalie.”

Mr Pollard said the sport was new to Australia. The Gauls team was established two years ago and is known as the UniDive Gauls, as it sprang from UQ’s scuba diving club UniDive.

“Underwater rugby is definitely gaining popularity,” Mr Pollard said.

“Last year a team started in Melbourne and this year teams have sprung up in Perth and Adelaide. The Gauls were featured on the TV show Totally Wild this year and just recently the Sydney team was interviewed by Mario on The Footy Show.”

UQ students and staff play in the Gauls, which is supported by travel company Whitsunday Escape.

The UniDive team trains at the UQ pool on Thursday nights and at the Sleeman Aquatic Centre on Monday nights. New members are welcome and teams are mixed.

Contact: Lachlan Pollard 0457 590 123