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Locker Room

Prince William and Kate on the radar as Brumbies target Royal recruits

The Duke, a Duchess and a little Prince watching the Brumbies? It might seem crazy and ambitious, but the Brumbies have been working tirelessly behind the scenes to try to get clearance for Prince William, wife Kate and son Prince George to sit in the stands at their grand final Anzac Day rematch against the Waikato Chiefs. The ACT government has a ballot for 250 people to welcome the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to Canberra. But the easy options would have been securing a ticket to the Brumbies game. The visit would have involved security sweeps well before game day, a huge entourage and some party pies in the corporate boxes. OK, we might have made up the bit about the party pies, but the bid to secure Prince William - a huge rugby fan and the vice-patron of the Welsh Rugby Union - would have been a massive coup. It looks like the schedules won't match up, with Prince William, Kate and baby George set to leave Canberra in the afternoon just before the Brumbies' 5.40pm kick-off. The Brumbies had been speaking with government and Palace officials to see if the the Royals would be free to attend the blockbuster game. They will arrive in Canberra on April 20, head to Uluru on April 21 and return on April 24 and 25 for more official duties before departing. It's not the first time Canberra sporting teams have tried to lure powerful promoters. Both the Brumbies and the Raiders invited United States President Barack Obama to home games at Canberra Stadium in 2010, but missed out on a chance to recruit the most powerful man in the world. Maybe the Brumbies can try to rework the Prince's schedule to let him fit one rugby game into his Australian visit.

Double up at the footy

Come in spinner! Still on the Brumbies and their Anzac Day clash - the Super Rugby club wants to be part of the April 25 tradition every year and they've got approval to have two up played at Canberra Stadium before their game against the Chiefs. The Chiefs will visit the War Memorial on the eve of the game. The Brumbies are hoping sports fans in the capital will jump on board the historic match, moving from the dawn service at the War Memorial then on to some two up and rugby in the afternoon. It is hoped the Brumbies' Anzac Day match will become an annual fixture on the Super Rugby calendar and be rugby union's chance to rival the AFL's Collingwood-Essendon battle at the MCG. It makes sense with the War Memorial down the road and the ability to play against a team from New Zealand - two aspects the AFL can't compete with. Two up is only allowed to be played on Anzac Day as a tribute to soldiers. The Brumbies are hoping for a bumper crowd after just 7129 watched them beat the Blues on Friday night. Four Victoria Cross winners will be in attendance, adding fuel to the fire of a grand final rematch against the Chiefs.

It's all White

Keep any eye out for Brumbies scrumhalf Nic White, dressed in a tailored white suit, on White Street in Canberra, getting ready to welcome Jake White back to the capital. Yep, a smartly dressed White went door knocking on White Street this week to hand out tickets to the Brumbies' game against the Durban Sharks on May 10. It will be former Brumbies coach Jake White's Canberra return after he quit the final two years of his contract at the end of last year. White asked residents of White Street if they missed Jake White. We're told there were some cracking responses for what promises to be another massive contest at Canberra Stadium. The Brumbies have been ramping up their video collection. If you missed it last week, the National Zoo and Aquarium opened a new Brumbies enclosure ... for a couple of hours. In the background, Brumbies players JP Smith, Conrad Hoffmann and Lionel Cronje were bouncing around like wild horses. We're told White's video is a cracker and there's also a preview to the Anzac Day two-up match.

Star junior in Canberra


Women's golf amateur world No1 Minjee Lee is coming to Canberra before she launches her professional career. The teenager will be part of the Australian women's interstate teams and Australian foursomes championships at Gungahlin Lakes later this month. The best amateur women will play at Gungahlin from April 27 to May 2 in the round robin format with six players representing each state. Lee will be playing for Western Australia and the 17-year-old has already played at the Australian women's open and the Ladies Masters. She is currently in the United States expanding her game as she aims to turn professional. Lee and Su Oh, who will also be playing, have been at the USLPGA Kraft Nabisco Championships in California this week after being invited to play in the first women's major of the year.

Stadium search continues

The Brumbies will play in a Singapore 10s tournament in June to help open the country's new state-of-the-art rectangular stadium. Locker Room understands ACT Sport Minister Andrew Barr will also be in Singapore checking out the venue as plans continue for a new undercover stadium in Civic by 2020. The Brumbies are the only Australian team in the inaugural Singapore tournament and will take on Super Rugby rivals the Waikato Chiefs, French club Toulouse and Saracens. Officials are confident the tournament will be sold out with games over two days. The new stadium in Canberra is expected to be modelled on AAMI Park in Melbourne, Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin and the new Singapore venue. ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher is going to China this week trying to attract investors for the City to the Lake project, which includes moving the city pool to West Basin and building a covered, rectangular stadium in its place.

Can not cursing yet

Canberra Raiders centre Jarrod Croker might be looking over his shoulder following the ACT Government's launch of ACTION'S free buses to major sporting events at Canberra Stadium and Manuka Oval last week. A quick look at who was pictured on the bus gave instant rise to theories of a curse. ACT Brumbies winger Henry Speight (jaw), Raiders back Edrick Lee (foot), Greater Western Sydney co-captain Phil Davis (kidney) and ACT Comets master blaster Jono Dean (hip) have all struggled with injuries recently and Croker is the only player pictured on the bus unaffected. ACT Sports Minister Andrew Barr wasn't overly confident there wasn't a curse: "I hope there is not a curse of the bus wrap ... no comment."

Lydia's Flash deal

Canberra United goalkeeper Lydia Williams has signed with USA club Western New York Flash, but she's expected to be back for the W-League's early start. Capital Football boss Heather Reid said the Asian Cup was going to not only take Canberra Stadium out of action in January 2015, but Deakin Stadium and McKellar Park as training venues will be off limits as well. With similar happening to soccer fields around Australia, Reid said the W-League would probably kick off mid-September and run through until December 21. Williams is expected to be back from her stint with the Flash by the end of August.

Campo pranks a legend

April Fool's is an enjoyable day for most, but it can be a nightmare for journalists as fake news releases roll in. Canberra Raiders skipper Terry Campese used the day to have some fun for a good cause, to promote his charity. Queanbeyan Council issued a release claiming David Campese Oval, named after Terry's Wallabies legend uncle, would be renamed Terry Campese Oval. "If it wasn't for a few unfortunate injuries, Terry Campese would already be an immortal, and even with those injuries it's a formality he will eventually join the likes of Dally Messenger, Wally Lewis and Andrew Johns,'' Queabeyan mayor Tim Overall said. The release included a picture of Overall and Campese with 'Terry' plastered over David on the ground's sign. "I'm not a prankster but I've got a bit of humour about me, I thought it would be good to get the foundation out there,'' he said. "I'm not sure how David took it, I haven't got a tweet back from him. He's done a lot more in sport than I have, and there's no chance I'd be alongside him.''