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Wallabies peers back return by Rathbone

Date

David Polkinghorne

Former ACT and Wallabies player Clyde Rathbone in action for the Brumbies in 2004, left, and right, playing in the Wests Legends charity match this year.

Former ACT and Wallabies player Clyde Rathbone in action for the Brumbies in 2004, left, and right, playing in the Wests Legends charity match this year.

HIS career was cut short by persistent knee injuries and he's been out of the game for three years, but that hasn't stopped former Brumbies and Wallabies stars from backing Clyde Rathbone for a possible Super Rugby return.

Rathbone retired in 2009 but is back training with the Brumbies to see if his body can withstand the rigours of a comeback.

Owen Finegan was Rathbone's captain when the pair played together in the Brumbies' last Super Rugby title - in 2004.

They returned to the field together in a Wests Legends game earlier this year, prompting Finegan to try to entice the former flyer to play for the Gungahlin Eagles - who Finegan coaches in the John I Dent Cup.

Finegan said if Rathbone's body holds up then he has no doubt he'd be a valuable addition to any professional rugby team, whether in Australia or overseas.

But Finegan did think his old teammate may struggle to break his way into an emerging Brumbies back line.

Players such as Henry Speight, Joe Tomane, Jesse Mogg and Robbie Coleman all showed this year they have big futures at Super Rugby level. Finegan wasn't sure whether Rathbone, at 31, would be able to force his way back into the line-up.

''If he's young enough to go back in, you're a long-time retired so why not go back in and give it another crack, I reckon it's a good idea,'' he said.

Former Wallabies five-eighth Rod Kafer said Rathbone would, at the very least, be an invaluable squad member. His experience of 26 Tests and 52 Super Rugby caps would provide added depth to a squad filled with young guns.

Kafer said Rathbone would bolster the leadership stocks and was the kind of ''quality'' person every club would benefit from having around. Rathbone was ''young enough and fit enough'' and ''ticked a few boxes''.

''Any player who's played for Australia can offer a rugby team something and Clyde has that ability to be a player who was very quick … tough uncompromising rugby player and a good addition to a squad. And given the Brumbies have got some challenges in improving their line-up, he'd be a bloke who'd come in and instantly improve the depth of the squad,'' Kafer said.

''And potentially filling a role as either outside-centre or a winger I think he'd certainly add a lot to the side.''

Kafer added he would return fresh after his time out of the game. ''We've seen guys - Radike Samo, Nathan Sharpe - who are Wallabies in their mid-30s so there's no reason why [Rathbone can't play at 31],'' he said.

A Brumbies' official confirmed Rathbone hoped to snare a vacant spot. ''He's one of several players looking at filling our last few positions,'' he said. ''Clyde will continue on when we get back into full pre-season training in October and see how he goes.''

with AAP

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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