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Home and Away confirms a return for the River Boys

Home and Away is about to welcome the River Boys back to Summer Bay, with the arrival of Rory and Dingo as they help Mali out of trouble.

With Mali (Kyle Shilling) and his brother Iluka (Dion Williams) currently in serious trouble with the Allen gang, this week’s Australian episodes see Mali call on his old mate Dean (Patrick O’Connor) for help – prompting the return of the River Boys to Summer Bay.

The River Boys are a criminal gang from nearby Mangrove River, whose storylines dominated Home and Away for almost 6 years from 2011 until 2016.

The Braxton Brothers.

When the gang first arrived in sleepy Summer Bay, they were led by Darryl ‘Brax’ Braxton, and supported by his three brothers Heath, Casey and Kyle.

The notorious Mangrove River gang were easily identified, with their distinctive ‘Blood and Sand’ tattoos and love of being shirtless making them hard to miss. Their storylines saw the show take on a darker edge, with their violent activities often spilling onto the sands of Summer Bay.

Their numbers dwindled as the years went by, with Heath being the last of the brothers to leave.

He returned in 2017, having followed wife Bianca (Lisa Gormley) back the Bay. She’d taken refuge at Irene’s (Lynne McGranger) place after discovering that Heath had killed Gunno, a criminal who’d previously kidnapped Casey and tried to kill Brax.

The pair eventually patched things up, and they moved back to the city, bringing an end to the River Boys’ domination of Home and Away’s storylines.

That was until Dean Thompson arrived in February 2018.

Dean had become the new leader of the gang after the Braxtons’ demise, and they were summoned back to Summer Bay by Ash (George Mason), who was on the hunt for an on-the-run Robbo Shaw (Jake Ryan).

Ash blamed Robbo for the death of Kat Chapman (Pia Miller) and his own unborn son in a car accident, and was seeking revenge.

When the gang finally tracked down Robbo, Ash chased him up to the lighthouse whilst the boys delayed the police.

Dean was shocked when he was pinned to the ground by another recent arrival who was a new recruit to the force, former River Boy Colby Thorne (Tim Franklin).

Dean soon put his River Boy life behind him (for the most part) and settled into a more relaxed life in Summer Bay, eventually finding himself running Ben’s Boards and shacking up with Ziggy (Sophie Dillman).

However, Dean could never fully put his River Boy past behind him, and the gang returned on a number of occasions to help Dean and his friends out of some sticky situations.

In the 2021 Season Return, Heath made a very brief return as he helped Ari (Rob Kipa-Williams) and Tane (Ethan Browne) deal with Paul (Jack Finsterer) and Leon (Will McNeill), two men who were terrorising the Parata brothers.

The trouble started when Tane (Ethan Browne) took part in a job for Paul which went wrong. Tane was left with a van full of stolen goods to dispose of, which unbeknownst to him also had drugs hidden in the panels.

When Ziggy and Willow (Sarah Roberts) made an ill-fated decision to dispose of the van, Ari and Tane were left indebted to Paul and Leon.

They were forced to carry out an armed robbery to pay them back, but as the day of the robbery arrived, Dean pulled in a favour and offered the Paratas help in the form of the River Boys.

As Ari, Tane, Paul and Leon arrived at a local leagues club to carry out the robbery, they were ambushed by Heath and his River Boy heavies.

The group bundled Paul and Leon into their utes and took them for a ride, roughing them up in the hopes that it would deter them from ever going after the Paratas again.

Another set of River Boys made another brief appearance in 2022, when Dean’s sister Mackenzie (Emily Weir) ended up indebted to PK King (Ryan Johnson) after running an illegal poker night.

Dean and some River Boys kidnapped PK to warn him off Mac, but there was grave concern when PK later turned up dead.

Whilst Ziggy gave Dean a false alibi, the police saw through it. She was angry when Dean then turned to the River Boys again to entrap the real killer, another poker player named Nathan (Ryan Panizza), whilst keeping her in the dark.

She went away for a few days as she reconsidered their relationship, but ultimately chose to stay with Dean after he explained that he’d always be a River Boy.

Dean’s 2023 departure put an end to the next phase of the River Boy story, but this week will see the saga continue, as Mali (Kyle Shilling) looks for help with getting his brother Iluka out of difficulty.

Last week’s Home and Away in Australia saw the Allen siblings arrive in Summer Bay. Led by ringleader Nat (Claire Lovering), the Allens are a group of petty criminals from Mali and Iluka’s home town of Mantaray Point.

Nat and her brothers Campbell (John Harding) and Gordie (Brandon McClelland) arrived in search of Iluka, who had stolen $8,000 from them and skipped town.

Iluka is Mali’s brother, who made an unexpected appearance in Summer Bay earlier this month. While he initially assured Mali that he was just there to catch up, it soon became clear that he was on the run and in serious trouble.

The week ended with the siblings taking Iluka away, shortly after they trashed the farmhouse and left Levi (Tristan Gorey) for dead after he tried to tackle one of the male siblings.

This week, with Iluka still missing, Mali decides to call his old mate Dean and ask for help freeing him from the clutches of the Allen siblings.

Iluka is eventually returned after a thorough beating, and Mali decides to take revenge.

“The only thing on Mali’s mind is that he has to stick up for his family,” Kyle tells Australian publication TV Week“He wants to show they’re not taking the situation lightly. He’s willing to do anything for his brother.”

A new promo for a week of dramatic episodes shows him and two heavies pull up in a truck, where Nat, Campbell and Gordie are lined up in front of their ute.

It’s then that we get our first glimpse of Home and Away’s newest River Boys – Rory (Joshua Orpin) and Dingo (JK Kazzi).

As Mali steps forward, Rory is seen to his right, wearing a black vest top, while Dingo is on his left in a checkered shirt.

“Mali has really reached his breaking point,” Kyle adds. “He’s on the brink of seeing red. No-one knows the extent a person would go to while they’re at that heightened point of anger.”

Mali and his hired help soon find themselves brawling with the Allens, until their fight is broken up by the arrival of Rose (Kirsty Marillier), who is decidedly unimpressed by her boyfriend taking the law into his own hands.

The arrival of a new bad boy character was announced earlier this year, when Australia’s Daily Telegraph reported that Joshua, who is best known for playing Conner Kent (aka Superboy) in the second series of DC Comics’ Titans, had joined the show.

“I can say he is a bit of a bad boy who comes into the show and stirs up some trouble among the Summer Bay locals,” Joshua told the publication. “He is seemingly one thing on the surface but he has a great depth to him that I’ve had a lot of fun exploring.”

The publicity photo for Joshua’s character – now confirmed as Rory – bore more than a passing resemblance to the one used for Dean’s debut back in 2018, leading many to speculate that he would be a River Boy.

While the publicity shot showed Joshua without tattoos, the promo reveals that his character actually has a tattoo on his left shoulder.

Knowing the River Boys’ love of parading around the bay topless, we’re sure it won’t be long until Rory’s signature ‘Blood and Sand’ chest tattoo is revealed too.

Home and Away on Instagram

Dingo is believed to be a short-lived guest character, but we’re expecting Rory to stick around for a little while.

Will the newest River Boy bring yet more trouble to Summer Bay?

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