Rugby Union


Robinson keen to follow Hooper into Super Rugby

Talented Canberra junior Andrew Robinson wants to follow the path created by ACT Brumby Michael Hooper and continue his rise through the Australian rugby ranks.

Robinson was selected in the Australia A schoolboy side last year and hopes to go one step better and be picked in the first XV this year.

Hooper's journey through the Brumbies ranks is an inspiration to the ACT's schoolboys who are just a couple of years behind the 20-year-old. Hooper was in the Australia A schoolboys side in 2008 but missed out on the senior side the following year due to shoulder surgery.

The flanker then capped off a stellar junior career when he was named Australian under-20 player of the year last year and he has established himself as a Super Rugby star this year.

It's a path St Mary MacKillop College student Robinson dreams of following.

His path to achieving that goal began at the schoolboys open training camp, organised by the Brumbies, in Griffith last Sunday.


''After the trouble [the Brumbies] have been through it's good to see some of the young boys coming in and starting to make a difference in the Super XV comp,'' Robinson told Personal Best. ''Especially Michael Hooper, he's only a 20-year-old, he's not long out of school. You kind of picture yourself being in the same sort of position he is.''

Ninety promising lads took part in a series of practice games to give ACT schoolboys coach Graham Reed his first chance to cast an eye over the talent available.

Over the coming weeks he will put together a squad of 23 for the schoolboys nationals at St Ignatius' College Riverview, in Sydney, in July.

''What I'm looking at is their raw natural talent and physicality,'' Reed said.

''Going to nationals is a pretty big ask for these kids, most of them have never played at that level.

''And when you come up against the top states, NSW and Queensland, you've got to be pretty physical.

'' … The good thing is we've got good numbers here today, we've had the chance to see most of the kids. If you're going in blind and just relying on one trial game it's a bit hard [to pick a squad].''

The ACT will play South Australia and Victoria in Albury on June 9 and then have a game against an ACT under-19 side as its warm-ups for the nationals.

In the week after nationals, the Australia and Australia A sides will play Tonga before they tour Fiji and New Zealand in September.