Bowls Australia

Sun sets on Lurch’s international career

by Lachlan Williams

Nathan Rice’s illustrious career as a BCiB Australian Jackaroo came to a successful close at Broadbeach Bowls Club on Sunday, winning fours gold at the 2019 Multi-Nations.

‘Lurch’ finished with a total of 289 caps for Australia over a 16-year Australian career that began in 2004.

Speaking on Rinkside Live, Rice said he was “pretty happy” with how his international career unfolded.

“I’ve been lucky enough to be around for so long. Playing in three Commonwealth Games I couldn’t do much more, I gave it my all,” he said.

“I pinch myself knowing I have been around for so long. Australia is best in the world bowls wise – you pinch yourself knowing you were part of that.”

Enjoying a career full of success, including four Commonwealth Games medals and two World Championships medals, Rice said there is a clear standout of a career highlight.

“I think the one is my first Commonwealth Games in Melbourne in 2006, that was special,” he said.

“The opening ceremony at the MCG was amazing. We got away with a bronze there, it was a great atmosphere there.

“Then to finish at Gold Coast with another Comm Games in my home area was very lucky.”

‘Lurch’ said finishing just short of 300 caps is something that doesn’t bother him.

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“I never thought I would play this many games. I never thought I would get one,” he said.

Rice said he will continue in his position as greenskeeper at Club Helensvale and is looking forward to spending more time with his family in retirement.

“Not only are you away so much with the Aussie team but you’re committed to a lot of other things as well – 6 months of the year you are away from home. It is a lot,” he said.

“I have been playing for Australia for a long time so I felt the time was right. It had been in back of my mind for a while.

“I have a young family now so I will spend a lot more time at home with them.”