Marist College Year 11 student Siuta Tai and St Edmunds College Year 12 student Keith Morgan have been selected for the Australian Schoolboys Under 18 UK Grand Slam Tour. Photo: Jeffrey Chan
The biggest war in ACT school sport is over ... or at least at a temporary truce. Long time rugby foes, St Edmunds and Marist colleges came together for an historic training session on Friday ahead of this Sunday’s national schools sevens tournament on the Gold Coast. So how was this peace deal brokered, given these traditional schoolboy teams are notorious for ripping each other apart on the rugby field? Well, former Marist student David Mead has taken over as master of rugby at St Eddies this year, while his little brother Paul holds the same position at Marist. Paul Mead played in the same Marist First XV as Wallabies great Joe Roff in 1993, and can’t ever recall the schools training together. “The rivalry between Marist and St Eddies has always been there, but there’s always been a healthy respect and the relationship’s been good,” he said. Both colleges had a player selected this week in the Australian schoolboys team to tour the UK in November – Siuta Tai from Marist, and Keith Morgan from St Edmunds. They’ll be joined in the team by Connal McInerney of Erindale College.
Not what Campo knee-ded
Leaked emails claim Terry Campese’s knee “only has a limited number of miles left in it”, but his position and captaincy at the Raiders is not in question. The Raiders were unhappy emails from team manager John Bonasera to Italy about Campese’s unavailability for the World Cup were made public, especially because they painted a grim picture of Campo’s knees. The emails detailed four operations – including two reconstructions – on Campese’s left knee, which means the joint “is always swollen and it has only a limited number of miles left in it.” More worrying, the emails detailed problems with swollen ligaments in Campese’s right knee, which required at least one cortisone injection and rest. Campese is still contracted in Canberra until the end of 2015 and sending him to the World Cup to play with a minnow nation would have almost been negligent, given another ruptured knee would virtually end his career. Campese is adamant he made the decision after consultation with medical staff. Raiders coach Ricky Stuart denies pressuring Campese, but applauded him for making a tough call and putting the NRL club first. When it comes to Campese’s captaincy, Stuart says there’s no decision to make. “I haven’t had any reason to not think about making him captain. I’m happy with him captain,” Stuart said.
Terry Campese. Photo: Melissa Adams
Kimmorley still in transition
Raiders assistant coach Brett Kimmorley is yet to commit to a new coaching role under Ricky Stuart. Dean Pay and Matt Parish will follow Stuart to Canberra from the Parramatta Eels to be his main assistants, while it’s understood Kimmorley has been offered a new position at the Raiders as a transitional coach. Given the Raiders are linked with NSW Cup team Mounties, based in Sydney, the club wants to ensure their most promising juniors don’t fall between the gaps in the transition between Canberra’s under 20s and the NRL, so they want more personalised coaching for them. Kimmorley, still contracted for another season, is yet give the club an answer on whether he wants it. The history between Stuart and Kimmorley is well-documented, although both have stated they can work together. Kimmorley, who has been commuting between Sydney and Canberra this year, has also been linked with a move back to the Cronulla Sharks.
ACTAS eyes move to AIS
Will Brett Kimmorley stay at the Raiders? Photo: Colleen Petch
Rumours of the demise of the ACT Academy of Sport have been greatly exaggerated, but there could be merit in talk of a future move for ACTAS to facilities at the AIS. Manager of ACTAS Gerard Corradini said state academies were still managing the flow-on effect of Australia’s more ruthless ‘Winning Edge’ high performance strategy, which aims to return Australia to the top-five of the Olympic medal tally. But while the AIS will no longer offer athletes scholarships beyond this year, Corradini confirmed ACTAS would continue its scholarship program. ACTAS provides professional support services for as many as 150 aspiring athletes in the ACT, with an annual budget of about $2 million. Corradini said all sports linked to ACTAS had indicated their clear intent to remain in partnership with the ACTAS, so there is not expected to be any major shifts. Corradini denied there were plans to relocate ACTAS, currently based at the Lyneham Hockey Centre, to the AIS. But don’t be surprised if there is even more co-operation between the two as ACTAS try to take advantage of the AIS facilities
Hill predicts capital gains in A-League
What do these cities have in common with Canberra? New Delhi in India, Abuja in Nigeria, Ottawa in Canada, Belmopan in Belize, and Brasilia in Brazil. Prominent soccer commentator Simon Hill was at Capital Football’s presentation evening on Thursday night and pointed out these were the only capital cities he’d found in the world that did not have their own men’s soccer team competing in its national competition. “You have in this state over 15,000 participants, you have a stadium at Bruce that’s more than fit for purpose, yet despite all that you have no senior men’s football team ... It needs to have an A-League team,” Hill declared. Canberra had held talks with Gold Coast United about hosting some of their A-League matches, before the club owned by Clive Palmer was booted from the competition. Canberra’s bid for its own A-League team was then trumped by the Western Sydney Wanderers, financially assisted by Football Federation Australia. But Hill urged Canberra not to give up. Canberra will host six matches and a quarter-final at the 2015 Asian Cup and Hill said support for those matches represented the city’s best chance to campaign again for expansion. “Eventually the FFA will have to listen to you,” Hill said. Capital Football chair Mark O’Neill said the drive for Canberra to have a team included in the A-League would continue.
Jake White. Photo: Jay Cronan
You can take the Jake out of the Brumbies ...
Former ACT Brumbies coach Jake White has a new job, but seems he may need a new wardrobe too. A few Brumbies types were bemused to watch White’s first press conference for the Durban-based Sharks during the week, convinced he was wearing a Brumbies tie from a couple of seasons ago. White still hasn’t returned any calls from The Canberra Times to explain to fans why he walked out on the remaining two years of his contract, so desperate he even paid a six-figure compensation fee to the Brumbies to ensure his release. But White is back on Twitter, his profile pictures still showing him in a Brumbies polo shirt and an image showing Brumbies players taking a knee while he gives out instructions. Not all Brumbies players were so keen to hear Jake’s goodbye message. He invited Brumbies in the Australian Wallabies squad to a dinner in Cape Town during their recent tour but it’s understood only five of the nine accepted.