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Schoolboy takes on the big boys

Date

Chris Dutton

ACT Schoolboys captain Andrew Robinson training  with the Tuggeranong Vikings.

ACT Schoolboys captain Andrew Robinson training with the Tuggeranong Vikings. Photo: Colleen Petch

A technicality thrust teenager Andrew Robinson into a battle against men almost twice his age, but the schoolboy star hopes the challenge will help launch his Super Rugby dream.

Robinson - the ACT Schoolboys captain - wanted to make the step up into the Canberra under-20s competition this year.

However, at 17 years old he was told he was too young to play for the Tuggeranong Vikings Colts team.

Instead of returning to the junior ranks, Robinson decided to make a giant leap into the ACT premier division.

Now he's a regular in the Vikings' second grade side and is getting a taste of first XV action against the best players in Canberra.

And he's the only schoolboy playing in Canberra's top-grade competitions.

''The original plan with me and my mum was that I was going to play Colts,'' Robinson said.

''But because there's some rule in place in Canberra that you have to be 18 to play, I'm ineligible.

''I just went straight up to second grade … I was a little bit worried to start with, but I knew I had to go and get stuck into what I normally do.''

Despite being pitted against opponents twice his age and double his size, the year 12 St Mary MacKillop College student hasn't taken a backwards step.

The scariest moment of his rise through the grades came in his first game.

The outside centre was preparing to defend when veteran Royals prop and former ACT Brumby Matt Weaver spotted 84-kilogram Robinson in the back line.

''He ran straight at me,'' Robinson said of 40-year-old Weaver.

''He's a big boy, lucky someone came across to help me.''

The Vikings are easing Robinson into the John I Dent Cup cauldron.

Instead of throwing him straight into the action, coach Dan McKellar and Robinson have agreed on a plan to give him 15 minutes a game from the bench to help him with the transition.

Robinson will lead the ACT Schoolboys side at the national championships at St Igantius College in Sydney next month.

He is also fighting to win a spot in the Australian Schoolboys team and McKellar believes the rising star has shown he's ready for representative honours.

''We exposed him pretty early in the trial games and physically he has no issues at all and mentally he's confident,'' McKellar said.

''For his own development we decided it's better for him to continue his development against men.

''He's continually challenged and he's handled everything thrown at him so far.

''With his first touch he beat three or four defenders and ran over the top of another so everyone has that confidence in him.''

Robinson admitted he's still nervous running on to the field, but he's determined to match it with his more experienced rivals.

''It was pretty nerve racking knowing you're competing against grown men and some of them are paid to play and train,'' Robinson said.

''Back in my own age group people are just going to school and being normal like me.

''But I'm not nearly as nervous as I was to start with … I feel comfortable in second grade but I'm still finding my feet in first grade.''

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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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