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Locker Room

Alexander's hairy moment

THINK your creepy Movember mo is torture? Spare a thought for Wallabies and Brumbies prop Ben Alexander, who had his unwanted facial hair waxed rather than going the traditional razor. Alexander and Wallabies skipper Nathan Sharpe had the procedure done at barber shop La Barbiere de Paris ahead of Sunday morning's Test with the French. It's probably the price Alexander had to pay after getting kicked out of the front-rower's club for scoring the try of the year at the recent Wallabies awards night.

Rogic in full flight

SOCCEROOS bolter Tom Rogic will be sick of the sight of airline food after an exhausting week of travel taking in three countries and a possible international debut. The Canberra teenager will cover tens of thousands of kilometres in the space of a week, starting on Sunday, when he turns out for the Central Coast Mariners in their A-League clash against the Wellington Phoenix. The 19-year-old will then jump on a direct flight from the New Zealand capital to the South Korean city of Hwaseong, where he will link up with the Socceroos ahead of Wednesday's friendly. From there, it's another long-haul flight to Melbourne for Saturday night's A-League match with the Victory at Etihad Stadium. It's all in week's work for the attacking midfielder who has taken the competition by storm.

Jacko pulls on boots

HIS premiership-winning try in the 1989 grand final ensured he would go down in Canberra sporting folklore. So it's only fitting Raiders hero Steve Jackson is winding back the clock as part of an Australian Legends team. The 47-year-old will come out of retirement for a match with the Kumuls Legends in rugby league-mad Papua New Guinea next Sunday. For those who have forgotten, Jackson's dramatic late try secured the Raiders their first premiership, beating the Balmain Tigers. Jackson will play alongside plenty of greats from yesteryear, including the recently retired Petero Civoniceva, Robbie O'Davis, John Hopoate, Paul Sironen, Nathan Blacklock, Scott Sattler and Noel Goldthorpe.

Masters take on troops

ON THE topic of former greats making comebacks, a selection of well-known Australian cricketers will put the pads on once more in Canberra later this month. World Cup winner Darren Lehmann headlines an Australian Cricketers' Association Masters side which will take on the International Defence Forces XI in a Twenty20 match at Manuka Oval on November 24. Among the former greats are champion paceman Craig McDermott, hard-hitting batsman Greg Ritchie and John Davison, who smashed what was at the time the fastest century in World Cup history when he reached triple figures in 67 balls for Canada against the West Indies in 2003. The match starts at midday, with a junior coaching clinic from 10am.

Smarts XI

WITH a doctor and a medical student among their ranks, the ACT Meteors have claims of being the brightest cricket team in the land. The addition of middle-order batter Wui Kwan Wong for this weekend's matches with Victoria Spirit gives the Meteors a distinctive medical flavour. While Wong is hitting the books on her way to entering the profession, teammate Sara Hungerford is already a fully fledged doctor, working on the mean streets of Sydney's renowned Kings Cross. It's all a bit much for Meteors coach Andrew Dawson, who can often be found flicking through the dictionary ahead of team talks. ''It's probably the most intelligent cricket team I've been involved in,'' Dawson quipped. ''With Sara Hungerford and Wui Kwan Wong, we've got one doctor and one medical student, so for my limited grey matter it's going to be a struggle.''

Collision course

BRUMBIES halfback Nic White expressed his shock at the sudden departure of Danny Buderus, but it's nowhere near the record for the quickest double-take in Canberra sporting history. For those living under a rock for the past few days, the Newcastle Knights great was hired as the Brumbies' ''collision coach'' for next season on Thursday, only for the NRL to axe the deal in a matter of hours. ''Well that was short lived. #disappointing,'' White tweeted on Thursday afternoon. While Buderus' stay was brief, he still exceeded the 28 seconds that was the political career of Mal Meninga. The famous clip of the Raiders legend giving his first radio interview before walking away with the line, ''I'm buggered, I'm sorry'', is a classic on YouTube.


Breen caps off win

SHE'S a champion of the track and quite possibility one of the quickest up and down a cricket pitch in Canberra. Olympic Games 100m sprinter Melissa Breen traded in her spikes for pads as part of the Crace celebrity Test on Saturday. And even though she was in the winning team skippered by one-day ace Michael Bevan, Breen had the privilege of donning the baggy green belonging to opposing captain Dean Jones.

Big Bash break

FROM the rumour mill. Which Canberra grade cricketer is on the verge of picking up a Big Bash contract? The deal with the Twenty20 franchise has come out of the blue and a welcome surprise for one of the most respected figures on the local scene.

Josh keeps Gallen in the right place

NO MATTER how hard he tries, Josh Papalii can't escape Paul Gallen. Papalii's Raiders teammates made sure the power hitter will hit the ground running when they erected this cardboard cut-out of the NSW skipper in front of Papalii's locker. Papalii famously engaged in a running battle with Gallen in the Raiders' finals victory over the Sharks at Canberra Stadium, smashing him at every opportunity. We can't wait until the return bout next year.