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First ladies of cricket: Rhiannon Eglinton

Like her Redbacks beau, Callum Ferguson, Rhiannon Eglinton personifies vitality. From bodybuilding and Buck Hunter through to crime fighting, our real-world wonder woman chats with us about breaking the mould.

Family background?

I’m a triplet! We recently celebrated our 27th birthday. I have two older sisters and my parents wanted a boy so they went for round three and ended up with a boy and two more girls! We don’t look similar at all but we’re close – particularly my brother and me.

Occupation?

I’m a Police Officer. I applied to join the police force at 18, graduated at 19, then I was on patrols for three or so years before tackling domestic violence. I did that for a few years and then moved to a tactical team that investigates drug offences. We’ve recently been hit hard with serious criminal trespass and motor vehicle theft offences so that’s now the main target of the group but it also incorporates drug action, breaches of bail and other areas.

Have you been in any scary situations?

I wouldn’t say I’ve been too scared… the adrenaline keeps you going. I find the most confronting jobs are on patrol going into unknown situations. I now predominantly raid houses searching for drugs and stolen property. When on patrol I’ve been threatened with knives and things like that but you have your partner there to support you and you feel safe with all the equipment you have.

Have you had to use your weapons?

I had to use OC spray (pepper spray) on a dog once – I felt so bad about it. We were arresting someone who happened to be taking his dog for a walk. My partner got into a wrestle with him and of course the dog didn’t like it. I didn’t want to risk my partner getting bitten, so I had to make a snap decision. I’ve been sprayed accidently plenty of times by other officers during fights – it burns!

Tell us about your bodybuilding hobby

I’ve always been really into fitness and sport. I played netball, touch football, futsal and have always gone to the gym quite a lot. I always wanted to see how far I could go with fitness, what would happen if I tried really, really hard. I also wanted a reason to do it. In competitions you have to get on stage in a bikini after three months, which is a great incentive to work hard and be really disciplined with training and meal planning.

My first competition was last year in season B, competing in two different federations. In the ICN (iCompete Natural) I received a first place and third place and in the WFF (World Fitness Federation) I came first. This year I competed in season A in the ICN only and received two fourth places. “Top five” is a place. There are different divisions including a bikini section where you don’t need defined muscle, however my division was fitness, so I needed a six-pack and muscles. I was in the “fitness – tall” category.

 

A lesser man might be intimidated by what you do… Not Callum!

Callum is so supportive. There are times when I’m not that enthusiastic about going to the gym but Callum will encourage me to follow through. The training period takes a lot of time and energy and you also have to eat six times a day and weigh all your food, so having that support makes it so much easier. I was so nervous during this year’s competition but luckily I had Callum backstage with me. I had a little breakdown but Callum was so sweet. He helped apply my tan, which was hilarious. When on stage I felt like I was visibly shaking but apparently I looked really confident from the audience.

How did you and Callum meet? First impressions?

I wasn’t sure if I should come up with a backstory for this … it was Tinder! I found Tinder ideal because I work most weekends … I pretty much go to work and go to the gym and that’s it.

First impression – very attractive, a nice person. Just very funny.

And the rest is history.

Yes. We’ve been together for a few years now and have been living together for two. We were initially in Prospect and Callum just bought a house in Goodwood – I love it! We have a French Bulldog called Bruce who joined us when Callum hurt his knee. I think it worked out well for Cal because he had a good excuse to not do the cleaning up after the dog as he was stuck on the couch! I’ve since been sowing the seed for a second dog. I’d love a breed called a Brussels Griffon which is a bit like a Chihuahua but Callum wants another bulldog – I think that’s as small as he’ll go.

Rhiannon with Redbacks partner Callum Ferguson at the 2017 Neil Dansie Medal.

What’s your favourite thing about Callum?
Callum is the most positive person I’ve met. I would not catch him saying a negative word about anyone or anything.

What’s his favourite thing about you?

He’d say a lot of things to cover his bases … so he doesn’t get in trouble [laughs]. He’d probably say I’m family oriented and hard working.

Thoughts on cricket?
I am starting to really enjoy it. Before I met Callum I had never watched a game. I had to ask him a lot of questions about the rules – I’m still learning as I go. I had no idea there were so many and I didn’t even realise there was more than one format! I’m a big fan of the T20 now.

What’s it like being the partner of an elite cricket player?

I guess it has advantages and disadvantages. I love watching him play but I find it difficult when he’s away a lot. It does get lonely.

Tell us something we don’t know about Callum.

He’s obsessed with Game of Thrones. He insists on watching the intro because he takes hints from it. I didn’t even realise that was a thing! He knows who all the characters are and exactly what’s going on with all the story lines.

Gaming is a bit of an outlet for him – he loves FIFA PlayStation. I say to him, ‘why do you play this game, it seems like it’s really upsetting you?’ He’s so competitive … on one of our first dates we went to TunzaFun (games arcade). I beat him a lot in hoops and he’d get so dirty about it. I beat him at Buck Hunter, too. He claims his gun was faulty. It definitely wasn’t!

Rhiannon and Callum at the Allan Border Medal, 2017.