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Pair pull plug as sparkies for a shot at Brumbies

ACT club players Matt Hawke and Sam Windsor training with the Brumbies at Brumbies HQ.

ACT club players Matt Hawke and Sam Windsor training with the Brumbies at Brumbies HQ. Photo: Melissa Adams

They usually spend their days as sparkies around Canberra but Sam Windsor and Matt Hawke are adamant putting work and life on hold to chase their Super Rugby dreams is worth the risk.

Windsor, Hawke and five other players from Canberra's premier division have taken leave from their day jobs to train full-time with the ACT Brumbies in a draining pre-season schedule.

It's a giant leap from the John I Dent Cup to a professional program.

But after fearing his Brumbies and Super Rugby chance had passed by him, Queanbeyan Whites playmaker Windsor is determined to make the most of his second opportunity.

Windsor was in the Brumbies Academy four years ago.

However, he moved to Sydney and played in London for two years before returning to the Whites line-up this season. He is about to start a university degree.

The Brumbies program and the opportunities given to club rugby players was one of the major reasons Windsor decided to return.

''I thought I had exhausted my options here [in 2008], but I thought it was a good time to come back. It was a no-brainer when they asked if we wanted to be involved,'' the 25-year-old said.

''I've never been involved in anything of this calibre. There's a big step from amateur rugby to even semi-professional, but hopefully this opens doors down the track.

''I weighed up the options and you've got to take certain risks and sacrifice some things if you want to make it and I'm happy to take that hit to try to get myself further along.''

When Brumbies coach Jake White took over the Super Rugby coaching job, he made a concerted effort to boost the Canberra competition.

The Brumbies players were divided up among the Canberra clubs instead of having players return to play in Sydney or Brisbane.

Australian Schoolboy representatives Andrew Robinson and Tom Staniforth have also been given the opportunity to train in White's squad.

But while Wests made the John I Dent Cup grand final, none of that club's players have been picked to train with the full-time squad.

The Brumbies had a long injury list after last season and White has opted to promote club players to increase the size of his squad for the pre-season.

Hawke has been one of the Gungahlin Eagles' best over the past few seasons and is also a qualified electrician.

But he had no hesitation delaying his tradesman life to train with the Brumbies in order to open Super Rugby and overseas doors to potential contracts.

''This is something you've been wanting to do since you were a kid … I'm pretty confident [it will lead to something], I'm here to become a better footballer and at this stage I'm getting better and better each day which is good.

''Jake makes it clear we're here to work. It's not a party. You can't put one foot wrong here … you have to meet every deadline.''

Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 0vs FJI 0 05:00Twic
TGA 0vs GEO 0 21:00Kholm
IRE 0vs CAN 0 23:30MilS
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs JPN 0 01:45Brig
FRA 0vs ITA 0 05:00Twic
SAM 0vs USA 0 21:00Brig
WAL 0vs URU 0 23:30MilS
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs ARG 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 0vs JPN 0 23:30Kholm
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs ROM 0 05:00Olym
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs NAM 0 05:00Olym
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 0vs GEO 0 01:45Kholm
ITA 0vs CAN 0 23:30Ella
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SAM 0 01:45Villa
ENG 0vs WAL 0 05:00Twic
AUS 0vs URU 0 21:00Villa
SCO 0vs USA 0 23:30Ella
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 0vs ROM 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 0vs NAM 0 01:45Sand
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs CAN 0 05:00stadium:mk
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs GEO 0 05:00MilS
SAM 0vs JPN 0 23:30stadium:mk
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SCO 0 01:45St James' Park
ENG 0vs AUS 0 06:00Twic
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 0vs TGA 0 00:30KPS
IRE 0vs ITA 0 02:45Olym
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 0vs ROM 0 02:45KPS
FJI 0vs URU 0 06:00stadium:mk
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 0vs USA 0 02:45Olym
NAM 0vs GEO 0 06:00Sand
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 0vs TGA 0 06:00St James' Park
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 0vs SCO 0 00:30St James' Park
AUS 0vs WAL 0 02:45Twic
ENG 0vs URU 0 06:00Manch
ARG 0vs NAM 0 22:00KPS
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 0vs ROM 0 00:30Sand
FRA 0vs IRE 0 02:45MilS
USA 0vs JPN 0 06:00Kholm
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinB 0vs RUpA 0 02:00Twic
WinC 0vs RUpD 0 06:00MilS
WinD 0vs RUpC 0 23:00MilS
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinA 0vs RUpB 0 02:00Twic
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF1 0vs WQF2 0 02:00Twic
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF3 0vs WQF4 0 03:00Twic
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
LSF1 0vs LSF2 0 07:00Olym
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
WSF1 0vs WSF2 0 03:00Twic
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
France 0 0 0 0 0 0
New Zealand 0 0 0 0 0 0
Canada 0 0 0 0 0 0
Tonga 0 0 0 0 0 0
Japan 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Romania 0 0 0 0 0 0
Argentina 0 0 0 0 0 0
England 0 0 0 0 0 0
Georgia 0 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 0 0 0 0 0 0
USA 0 0 0 0 0 0
Italy 0 0 0 0 0 0
Ireland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Fiji 0 0 0 0 0 0
Samoa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Namibia 0 0 0 0 0 0
South Africa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Wales 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
 

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