PRIDE: The Bundaberg West Barbarians captain James Courtice and The Waves captain Fletcher Ericson show off the Travis Herschell Shield last year. The two captains will play off for the title again tonight at The Waves.
PRIDE: The Bundaberg West Barbarians captain James Courtice and The Waves captain Fletcher Ericson show off the Travis Herschell Shield last year. The two captains will play off for the title again tonight at The Waves. Craig Warhurst

Game will remember Travis Herschell

UNION: The Waves admit this year's Travis Herschell Shield could be the most important match it has played in years.

The Falcons and the Bundaberg West Barbarians will battle each other for the shield tonight in the Spring Cup, commemorating the life of Herschell who was killed in a car crash in Gin Gin in 2014.

Herschell played for The Waves during his 10-year career with his brother Darel playing for Wests.

The Waves will be defending the shield after winning for the first time last year in a 21-12 win.

A win against the Barbarians could also potentially seal up a final spot, which is something the side is usually not in contention of doing when this game comes around.

It could be a historic night.

"It is, we'd love to win the shield again,” The Waves coach Matt Clarkson said.

"The goal for us is avoiding the wooden spoon.

"We've done it for a few years so we hope this year isn't the year we finish last.”

The side will have no lack of motivation either to do it for their fallen mate.

"We'll have a full side and reserves and there's a few blokes coming up from Brisbane to play the game,” Clarkson said.

"We've played really well against the Barbarians with a lack of players, so we should go alright with a simple rugby plan.

"The trophy should be ours.”

The Barbarians might have a say in that, a win for them could move them to the top of the ladder.

"We want it back,” Barbarians coach Rob Whyte said.

"Our pack is the biggest and strongest in the competition so that has to lay the platform.

"We know they will play hard rugby so we have to defend well and win the ball.”

The sides will battle at 7pm after Isis takes on the Pythons at 5pm.



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