Tell us in 30 seconds about yourselves and the Ward family. 
We are a family of six – Murray, Jill, Sam, Anna, Lachlan and Beth.
We are a family blessed with a respect for each other, a love like no tomorrow and a bond that will never break us. We are lucky as a family to be able to spend so much time together, something that has always been a priority for each of us. We live in a beautiful home built by our beautiful son and brother, Lachie. We love camping, 4X4, rugby and country music – just to name a few things on a very long list! Our extended family includes our English Staffie Duke, Ellen (Sam’s fiancé), Mark (Anna’s partner) and Angus (Beth’s partner) and recently Lily (Anna and Mark’s daughter).
Murray and Jill, your son Sam says that you were both born to be parents, that you’re very caring and giving. What do you consider to be your greatest parental achievements?
Answered by Sam, Anna and Beth 
Our mum and dad are humble. They’re our biggest cheerleaders in all aspects of life, whether it is a small achievement or a large one they are always there to support us. Our parents have brought us up to be the people we are today, and we would say that that is their greatest parental achievement, outside of their own successes. Our parents have created an extremely nurturing and unique bond that we hold so dearly. We have special traditions whether it is our weekly dinners, lengthy birthday cards, countless hugs and “I love you”, holidays or just being there to support each other. Our parents have instilled family values in us that we will never lose and for that we are eternally grateful.

Murray, who is one of your favourite rugby players of all time? 
Obviously, Sam Ward (duh).

The Rats have been, and continue to be, a part of your life. What does the RATS family mean to you? 
The Rats are our happy place, the genuine care for us and the inclusion of all of our family and the support given to Sam to keep him playing rugby has never been taken for granted by us. We don’t think we could have done it without the Rats.

It’s been 2-years since the Ward family so sadly lost Lachlan whilst playing for the Rats. Can you tell me what the Lachlan Ward Memorial Round means to you and your family.
It is so important to us that Lachlan is never forgotten. Lachie always took the time to see how people were going, he would go out of his way for a chat and to include and help anybody. For him to be remembered in this way is a testament to what he stood for and how he brought the Club together.

Facing the loss of a child may be the hardest thing a parent ever has to do. As a Club, we see you both as warriors who define the word brave. 
A few days after Lachie died, a friend who had also lost her husband and son, said …. “you have a choice here, you can either choose to go down in a big black hole, or you can choose to learn to celebrate Lachie’s life, cherish the time you had with him, celebrate his life and take a step forward each day.” That was the path we chose, and although tough, we have been able to do that with the continued support of the Club and our friends. There are numerous people at the Rats that have and continue to support us. The Club, supporters and players are always checking in on us and that makes us deeply appreciate the arms we feel wrapped around us.

WRC believe that our Sponsors, Supporters and our Players are our finest assets. They are characterised by qualities such as loyalty, commitment and generosity which make the strong foundation of our ‘family’. Who do you feel showcases the Club’s core values and why? 
We feel as though WRC is a particularly special club that showcases these qualities through the whole family – from the game day volunteers, coaches, managers, medical staff, sponsors, Hillbillies and all the players – everyone is genuinely there for each other, creating a very special and unique club. The Club has undoubtably been through some very trying times, both on and off the field but what stands this Club out from the others is their genuine love of family and inclusion.
What’s the fascination with Country music? I’ve been told by a reliable source that “you all love to dance to a good country song”.
Lachlan shared with us his love of country music many years ago. It has been a genre we as a family find very easy and comforting to listen too. We used to all laugh about some of the simple lyrics in the early days but that is what we all love about it. You will often see us all having a dance to country music – it’s easy and anything goes, although we are still trying to perfect the line dancing!

Murray, I heard from a reliable source that you are a good water skier, however summer just gone you had to use 2-skis instead of one. Please explain.
Contrary to popular belief I was once a hybrid of both Sam and Lachie’s body shape, only better! However, fair to say I’m not quite as agile as I used to be. I would mainly put my inability of getting out of the water on one ski (like I used too) down to Sam’s poor boat driving skills and me tearing my hamstring as I went head over one ski. We should leave him to physio and playing rugby because if he is driving the boat, I’d probably tear another muscle and be another patient.

Lastly, what is it like being grandparents to Lily? 
We were blessed to have four amazing, beautiful and talented children each in their own right. Now, adding a new life as Grandparents and for us to see a child born with the undivided love they arrive with, and their happiness with the world they have no idea about is so beautiful. As a grandparent, to be able to watch a child grow and learn, to be able to provide and protect that child, is a gift never to be taken for granted. Lily Lachlan is a beautiful happy little soul and keeps our hearts warm every day.

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