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Schoolboy takes on the big boys


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 35vs FJI 11 Report Stats
TGA 10vs GEO 17 Report Stats
IRE 50vs CAN 7 Report Stats
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 32vs JPN 34 Report Stats
FRA 32vs ITA 10 Report Stats
SAM 25vs USA 16 Report Stats
WAL 54vs URU 9 Report Stats
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NZL 26vs ARG 16 Report Stats
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SCO 45vs JPN 10 Report Stats
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AUS 28vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 38vs ROM 11 Report Stats
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NZL 58vs NAM 14 Report Stats
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ARG 54vs GEO 9 Report Stats
ITA 23vs CAN 18 Report Stats
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SAF 46vs SAM 6 Report Stats
ENG 25vs WAL 28 Report Stats
AUS 65vs URU 3 Report Stats
SCO 39vs USA 16 Report Stats
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IRE 44vs ROM 10 Report Stats
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 35vs NAM 21 Report Stats
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 23vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 41vs CAN 18 Report Stats
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NZL 43vs GEO 10 Report Stats
SAM 5vs JPN 26 Report Stats
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SAF 34vs SCO 16 Report Stats
ENG 13vs AUS 33 Report Stats
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ARG 45vs TGA 16 Report Stats
IRE 16vs ITA 9 Report Stats
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CAN 15vs ROM 17 Report Stats
FJI 47vs URU 15 Report Stats
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 64vs USA 0 Report Stats
NAM 16vs GEO 17 Stats
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 47vs TGA 9 Report Stats
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SAM 33vs SCO 36 Report Stats
AUS 15vs WAL 6 Report Stats
ENG 60vs URU 3 Stats
ARG 64vs NAM 19 Report Stats
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 32vs ROM 22 Report Stats
FRA 9vs IRE 24 Report Stats
USA 18vs JPN 28 Report Stats
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Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 23vs WAL 19 Stats
NZL 62vs FRA 13 Report Stats
IRE 20vs ARG 43 Report Stats
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
AUS 35vs SCO 34 Stats
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 18vs NZL 20 Stats
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ARG 15vs AUS 29 Stats
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
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NZL 34vs AUS 17 Stats
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Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 4 4 0 0 106 17
Wales 4 3 1 0 49 13
England 4 2 2 0 58 11
Fiji 4 1 3 0 -17 5
Uruguay 4 0 4 0 -196 0
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Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
South Africa 4 3 1 0 120 16
Scotland 4 3 1 0 43 14
Japan 4 3 1 0 -2 12
Samoa 4 1 3 0 -55 6
USA 4 0 4 0 -106 0
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Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
New Zealand 4 4 0 0 125 19
Argentina 4 3 1 0 109 15
Georgia 4 2 2 0 -70 8
Tonga 4 1 3 0 -60 6
Namibia 4 0 4 0 -104 1
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Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Ireland 4 4 0 0 99 18
France 4 3 1 0 57 14
Italy 4 2 2 0 -14 10
Romania 4 1 3 0 -69 4
Canada 4 0 4 0 -73 2
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