Rugby Union


Footy in the blood

The ACT schoolboys' side can boast some impressive pedigree with both Neora Nadruku and Tom Staniforth claiming strong football bloodlines.

Nadruku's dad Noa was a try-scoring machine and one of the quickest and most dynamic players to pull on a Canberra Raiders jumper.

But as far as football is concerned, Noa's son is the yin to his yang.

Noa was a fleet-footed winger, but Neora is a 110kg prop who was last week chosen in the ACT schoolboys rugby union team.

The 17-year-old is tipped to be a key player when the ACT plays in July's national championships at Sydney's St Ignatius College.

ACT schoolboys coach Graham Reid said while Neora was vastly different to his father, a winger who scored 73 tries in 92 games for the Raiders, the way he approached a game was very similar.


''What I can say is he shows all the ball skills Noa had, and the enthusiasm to run with the ball,'' Reid said.

''He mightn't be as quick as his dad was at his age, but he gives us a lot of go-forward and he doesn't shirk any of that sort of stuff.

''Noa comes to all his games and rides him pretty hard, he knows a lot about rugby union.

''He played with us last year as well and he was a standout performer, especially against the higher-quality opposition.''

ACT vice-captain Staniforth also comes from good stock as the cousin of former Wallabies back Scott Staniforth.

Lock Staniforth missed last year's national championships, where ACT won just one game, due to a shoulder injury.

His inclusion will add some welcome grunt to the pack as it attempts to match wits with heavyweights Queensland and New South Wales.

''Tommy's a very aggressive player as well, he loves the contact area of the game and we missed him a lot last year when he wasn't there [last year],'' Reid said.

''He's one of the team leaders so we want him to lead us from the front foot and bring some of the younger guys behind him.''

The ACT side is skippered by Andrew Robinson, an outside centre who has come off the bench on occasion for John I Dent Cup giants Tuggeranong Vikings.

ACT schoolboys team

Andrew Robinson, Angus Howard, Beau Donovan, Callum Smith, Connall McInerney, Dean Parragalli, Dougal McLaughlan, Edward Garraway, Greg Fatiaki, Harry Burey, Harry Flemming, Jack Stanford, Jake Gordon, Jamie Bodman, Joe Powell, Jordan Place, Josh Brugmam, Matt Narracott, Mitchell Tye, Montana O'Neil, Neori Nadruku, Tom Staniforth, Washington Underwood.