11 April 2023

Region Riverina vs league legend Peter 'Sterlo' Sterling

| Glenn Pallister
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Peter Stirling

Peter Stirling now and then. Photo: Supplied.

NRL.com says former rugby league star Peter Sterling won four premierships, toured with the Kangaroos twice, won the Dally M Medal twice, and notched up a host of other outstanding achievements during his playing career.

We say ‘Sterlo’ is an Aussie icon, from his playing days to commentary, to his Footy Show classic moments. He is definitely in our ‘Top 50 Aussies to have a beer with’.

Do you have a connection to the Region? What and when was your last visit?

I spent my formative years in Wagga, including my secondary schooling at Kooringal High School. My father was in the Air Force, so we lived on the base at Forest Hill.

Population back then was around 30,00 so it really was a big country town. Visits are few and far between now, the last one (before hosting the Kangaroos’ launch last month) was about five years ago for an NRL match.

When I do come back it’s a real nostalgia trip; it seems since I left in the late 70s, so much has changed but a lot of things are still the same.

READ ALSO NRL legend Andrew Fifita returns to Griffith school to mentor students

Favourite part of the Region?

I enjoy the entire Riverina region. Despite spending so much time living in the city over the past three decades I’ve always remained a country boy at heart.

Even the extremes when it comes to the seasons, it does get freezing cold in the winter and boiling hot in the summer and the countryside reflects that.

What was your best food experience?

I’m pretty basic when it comes to culinary delights; give me a good old-fashioned pub meal involving a chicken schnitzel and I’ll be happy! There’s certainly no shortage of hotels in Wagga to choose from.

What’s a “must-do” when in the Region?

Depends on the type of things you like doing because you will be well catered for.

I’ve particularly had great times waterskiing on Lake Albert and swimming in the Murrumbidgee.

Wagga has produced a remarkable number of top sportspeople across a wide variety of sports so a visit to the Hall of Fame is something I’d recommend.

READ ALSO Regional NSW rugby league puts on a show at the inaugural Batemans Bay Monaro Knockout

Drive or fly?

I much prefer to drive; it gives you the freedom to take your time and run your own race.

The journey down invariably involves a drop in to the Paragon Cafe in the main street of Goulburn.

What’s your three go-to songs on the road trip to the region?

I have a very diverse music playlist but in relation to a road trip, these three songs are certain to get a start: Bow River (Cold Chisel), Wide Open Road (The Triffids) and always a Rolling Stones tune, usually Gimme Shelter.

Name one person you would not want in the passenger seat for the drive?

Donald Trump.

Name anyone dead or alive you would want in the passenger seat for the drive?

Michael Parkinson would be great company. To hear about the people he has interviewed throughout his career would be fascinating.

Do you bring your own pillows?

I struggle a bit with insomnia so my own pillow is a must.

Why should someone who hasn’t visited here make the trip?

I’ve always found a trip to the country stress free. True Australian bush, down-to-earth people and a laid-back lifestyle.

Also, a distinct shortage of traffic lights!

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