Ab Mcalister, Phil Kearns, Steph Cooke and Cowra Rugby Club representatives stand under the veranda of the new clubhouse and smile.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke has joined the Cootamundra Rugby Club and former Wallabies Captain Phil Kearns AM to open the new rugby clubhouse.

The NSW Government supported the new building with a $350,000 grant from the Stronger Communities Fund.

Steph Cooke MP said the project was the result of hard work from the club community.

“I am so pleased the NSW Government has supported this work, but a huge congratulations must go to the Cootamundra Rugby Club for their extensive and ongoing fundraising to bring this clubhouse to life,” Ms Cooke said.

“This has been an amazing community effort, supported by a champion of the game, Phil Kearns AM, who kindly offered to have a round of golf with him auctioned off to raise even more money.”

“This is the grassroots of rugby, where our juniors learn to love the game, make lifelong friends and begin their journey with this great sport. It’s wonderful the Club has a new home.”

President of the Cootamundra Rugby Club Steven Hardie said the new clubhouse would bring players and the community together.

“This clubhouse gives us a home and we can finally put up our photographs and boards. It’s somewhere we can all congregate and it makes us a closer club,” Mr Hardie said.

“The opening was fantastic, we had a big crowd and it was a huge success. Steph did a great a job and Phil Kearns was very enjoyable to listen to. It was a great day.”

“For the last few years we haven’t been able to play on our home ground because we haven’t had change rooms. This helps to bring the juniors, seniors and the community together. It’s going to make a huge difference. We are going to be able to generate more income with home games to help pay for the clubhouse.”