Stephen Larkham makes rugby comeback alongside Victoria Cross winner

Stephen Larkham makes rugby comeback alongside Victoria Cross winner

Some Australian rugby greats will line up against a war hero when the Silver Foxes play the Australian Defence Force Old Boys at Bungendore on March 28. ACT Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham will make a playing comeback in a match that will also feature Owen Finegan, Tim Horan, Richard Harry, Julian Huxley, Pat Howard and John Langford. World Cup-winning fly-half Larkham will be playing for the ADF side after accepting an invitation to put the boots back on in the Super Rugby bye week. Larkham will also have a high-profile teammate, with rumours that a hulking Victoria Cross winner will line-up in the old boys team. The game starts at 3pm at Mich Sherd Oval, with money raised going to the Black Dog Institute. The Silver Foxes have raised more than $250,000 in the past seven years. Former Wallaby Richard Tombs will play in the match after brother Corporal Brett Tombs died in a Black Hawk accident in 1996, which killed 18 Special Air Service Soldiers in Townsville. "I'm really excited to be playing alongside Joshua and representing the ADF Old Boys. We have a big task ahead of us taking on the Silver Foxes, but I'm confident we can come away with the win. It's going to be a great spectacle and raising awareness and funds for two great causes. It will be a special day," Tombs said.

Kyrgios gets his new set of wheels

He's a teenage tennis prodigy driving around in a bright new BMW. No, we're not talking about the troubled Bernard Tomic. We're talking about Canberra star Nick Kyrgios, who last week showed off his new set of wheels - a blue BMW M3. Kyrgios is set to reignite his year in the coming weeks after recovering from bone stress in his back. He missed Australia's Davis Cup tie in the Czech Republic with a view to his long-term fitness. But the 19-year-old also used the extra time at home in the capital to get a new car. You won't miss him if he does laps of Northbourne Avenue. Let's hope his car doesn't attract the same attention that Tomic got on the Gold Coast, when he was booked twice by police on the same day in 2012. "I'm still learning how to deal with it all, I'm only 19, so I'm no expert at it at all. To deal with all the media and all the attention ... I've got a great team around me, so it's all a learning experience." Kyrgios showed last week he had well and truly recovered from his back problems, throwing down some slam dunks against Canberra Capitals star Carly Wilson and ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr. "I love [basketball], I like it more than tennis, and it's a bit of a distraction at the same time. I wake up and I want to play either tennis or basketball, so it's great to come down here and shoot some hoops," Kyrgios said.

Drinks on Benny A after drought-breaking try


A front-rower's try is as rare as hen's teeth, but Brumbies prop Ben Alexander's first five-pointer in almost four years could go down as the most costly in Super Rugby. Alexander part owns The Dock bar at the Kingston Foreshore with Brumbies teammate Scott Fardy. The pub has a deal that if either scores a try, everyone in the pub or ticket holders to games at Canberra Stadium gets a free drink of beer, wine or soft drink. So when Benny A crashed over against the Western Force, he took a $1200 hit given there were about 200 people cheering him. The Dock has a capacity of 270 people, and fans with tickets to the game can claim their free drink after the match. The offer also stands for anyone watching away games at The Dock while wearing Brumbies supporter gear. "It set us back a bit, I might have to tell Fards that we're not allowed to score. What was I doing? I've got to make sure Fards doesn't score either ... it's all for a good cause," Alexander said.

Ben Alexander's first Super Rugby try in four years cost him $1200 in free drinks.

Ben Alexander's first Super Rugby try in four years cost him $1200 in free drinks.

Photo: Getty Images

Pocock powers through pain

ACT Brumbies star David Pocock is set for a Super Rugby return against the Queensland Reds this week after recovering from another injury. But while an ankle syndesmosis problem halted his season, the former Wallabies captain had just one thought in mind: Thank god it wasn't my knee. Pocock was man of the match in the Brumbies' round-one win against the Reds. He played most of the game with an injured ankle. "I got caught in the bottom of a ruck in the first half. But after being injured for a couple of years I was loving [being out there]. I was playing pretty well, then got up from it and felt it was pretty sore but because it wasn't my knee, I thought, 'Oh well, I'll just keep going'." Pocock has played just six games since joining the Brumbies for the 2013 season. He has been training in the Univeristy of Canberra research institute of sport and exercise altitude room. He has been pushed to the limit in boxing and rowing sessions at two kilometres above sea level to ensure he doesn't lose his fitness before returning to the field. "It is frustrating, but it is a contact sport and you've got to try to make the most of the time you spend in rehab."

Pakistan and India resume Canberra rivalry

They have an epic international cricket rivalry and now Pakistan and India will battle for the Akram-Tendulkar Shield in Canberra. While the two nations battled in a World Cup fixture last month, the capital's cricket community will have its own subcontinental showdown to satisfy their competitive appetite. The annual Canberra Day cricket event will be played at Kippax on Monday, with anthems played before the match at 10.15am. The Twenty20 fixture, now in its fourth year, has expanded to two matches as the Pakistani and Indian communities expand. There will be a Friendship Cup match in the morning followed by the Akram-Tendulkar Shield contest. India will be intent on levelling the series, with Pakistan taking a 2-1 lead after an eight-run in a super over last year.

Barr targets AFL Indigenous All Stars

After the success of Manuka Oval as an international cricket venue, ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr has canvassed the idea of bringing the AFL Indigenious All Star game to Canberra. "We'll look at what other AFL opportunities there are, there the may be the odd Indigenous All Star game that could emerge," Barr said. "Our door's open for more content at Manuka Oval and we'll pursue that. The sky's the limit for quality cricket and AFL at Manuka Oval. To get the ground where it has has been a significant lift and it's looked a picture for the Cricket World Cup. It's definitely demonstrated to the AFL and domestic cricket that with a bit of effort that the venue can look appealing." More than 25,000 people attended the three cricket World Cup games in Canberra. Manuka Oval will host three AFL premiership games and one pre-season game this year. This year's AFL Indigenous All Stars game was played against the West Coast Eagles in Perth in February.

Hayne's 49ers deal gives Tagive hope

ACT Brumbies and Australian sevens hopeful Ratu Tagive says former Campbelltown housing commission neighbour Jarryd Hayne's NFL success is a reminder that "we're just kids chasing a dream". Former Wests Tigers and Canterbury Bulldogs junior Tagive is playing for the ACT sevens in Sydney at the national championships this weekend. He grew up around the corner from Hayne in a rough neighbourhood that has produced NRL stars. Tagive's older brother Peni, a former Sydney Roosters player, is in the United States playing American football at Baylor University, and Tagive said Hayne's deal with the San Francisco 49ers would help the brothers chase their goals. "We grew up in Airds, it's a pretty rough neck of the woods. We went to primary school and right next door is the juvenile centre, that says a bit about the area," Tagive said. "There was Jarryd Hayne, Krisnan Inu, Fotu Auelua is from Campbelltown and my older brother was at the Dragons, Tigers and the Roosters. He was good mates with Jarryd Hayne. That would give him a bit more fuel for the fire to show it's possible. At the end of the day we're kids chasing our hearts and our dreams."

Nick Kyrgios shows off his new car on Instagram.

Nick Kyrgios shows off his new car on Instagram.

Photo: Instagram

Chris Dutton

Chris Dutton is a sports reporter at The Canberra Times.

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