Australian Secondary Schools Rugby League
By Bruce Wallace
2008, the Centenary year of Rugby League has proven to be one which will remain etched in the history of the ASSRL as a “stand-out” year.
The first of many highlights was the announcement of the Australian Secondary Schools Rugby League - Centenary Team at the Power House Museum in Sydney on the 18th September. The event was a media extravaganza supported by the Centenary of Rugby League Committee represented by Ms Yvonne Christianson, the ARL Media Manager, Doug McDougall, ARL Development and Classic Sportswear.
The team was announced by Channel 9 Rugby League identity, Tim Gilbert. Selected team members were presented with a commemorative Centenary Jersey and an engraved glass with the names of all team members. Players in attendance were interviewed by Tim after they had received their presentations from Geoff Carr, the Chief Executive of the ARL and myself. Tim Aremy and Albert Kelly from this year’s Australian Schoolboys team attended this event and accepted the awards on behalf of absent nominees and were interviewed by the media.
All selected players listed below had to have represented the Australian Schoolboys and the Australian Kangaroos. Voting concluded mid - July. The Centenary Team is as follows:
AUSTRALIAN SECONDARY SCHOOLS RUGBY LEAGUE
CENTENARY TEAM 2008
Australian Secondary Schools Team Player Representative Records
No 1 Tim Brasher Grantham High NSWCHS
1988 (To NZ)
No 2 Andrew Ettingshausen De La Salle Cronulla NSWCCC
1982 (NZ); 1983 (merit)
No 3 Mark Gasnier Peakhurst High NSWCHS
1998 (NZ); 1999 (France/England/Ireland)
No 4 Justin Hodges Cairns State High QSSRL
1998 (NZ); 1999 (France/England/Ireland)
No 5 Greg Inglis Wavell State High QSSRL
2004 (v Barla, France and England Academy in Aust)
No 6 Brad Fittler McCarthy Senior High NSWCCC
1988 (NZ); 1989 (v Barla in Aust)
No 7 Greg Alexander Patrician Brothers Fairfield NSWCCC
No 8 Craig Young Corrimal High NSWCHS
No 9 Danny Buderus St Francis Xavier Newcastle NSWCCC
No 10 Les Boyd Nyngan High NSWCHS
No 11 Steve Menzies Narrabeen High NSWCHS
No 12 Paul Sironen Holy Cross Ryde NSWCCC
No 13 Bradley Clyde Hawker College ACT
1986 (England); 1987 (merit)
No 14 Tonie Carroll Beenleigh State High QSSRL
1993 (v Barla in Aust)
No 15 Ian Schubert Wauchope High NSWCHS
No 16 Matthew Gidley Glendale Technology High NSWCHS
No 17 Brent Tate Clontarf Beach State High QSSRL
At this event Roy Masters, Michael Buettner and Bruce Wallace addressed the gathering of Rugby League dignitaries prior to the announcement of the team. This event received the most extensive media coverage the Australian Schoolboys Rugby League has ever received which is testament to the quality of what the ASSRLC produces in terms of elite players. Every television station was represented and radio and newspaper coverage was comprehensive as the concept stimulated enormous interest throughout the Rugby League community.
Also announced at this occasion was the 10 year sponsorship agreement with Classic Sportswear, covering the playing gear of the Australian Schoolboys and the Affiliated States Teams. The ASSRL are grateful to Tony Magnus, the Managing Director of Classic Sportswear for the continued support of his progressive company.
The next highlight was the performance of our outstanding Australian Schoolboys Team this year. This team proved to be very strong defeating the England Academy in two Tests and the French Juniors in their one off Test.
First Test Dairy Farmers Stadium Townsville v England Academy 68 - 6
Second Test Wynnum-Manly Brisbane v England Academy 17 - 10
Test Wynnum-Manly Brisbane v French Juniors 40 - 6
This team set itself high standards both on and off the field receiving accolades for their demeanor from accommodation venues, Clubs and their opposition. They were a credit to the Australian Schoolboys and the team officials who were in their charge.
The success of this year’s Corporate Sports Australia International Series was a product of the great support that the ASSRLC received from the senior Rugby League family. The first Test in Townsville was hosted by the NRL Club, the North Queensland Cowboys. The hospitality awarded to our team and the English, by the Cowboys, was incredible. We extend our appreciation to Mr Laurence Lancini, the Chairman and the Board of the Cowboys, Mr Peter Parr, Chief Executive and Mr Peter Jones, Coaching and Development Manager for their support and commitment of this wonderful Test match at Dairy Farmers Stadium.
The next two Tests in the Corporate Sports Australia International Series were hosted by the ‘home of Australian Schoolboy Rugby League’, Wynnum-Manly Rugby League Club. Once again our greatest supporters went all-out to support the Australian Schoolboys and both of our international visitors. To Mr Arthur Lovell, Chairman and the supportive Board of Directors, Mr Stan Plath and their ever-energetic Development Officer, Roy Wyatt, we once again extend our sincerest appreciation.
In order to select the above-mentioned team there was another highlight for the year in the outstanding 18 Years Australian Championships, hosted by the Northern Territory Rugby League.
The fireworks display at the conclusion of this event was a feature as were the ‘world’s biggest oysters’ at the Manager’s dinner. The quality of the selected team was only matched by the quality of the performance of the teams which participated. This event was a credit to Gary Launt, the Operations Manager of the NTRL and their Chairman, Mr Mick Palmer, and their incredible administrative support team. We are also grateful to the NTRL for hosting an international match between the French Juniors and the NT 18 Years State team. Another great effort!
Pool A Champions NSWCHS
Pool B Champions Northern Territory
The 15 Years Australian Championships was another highlight held at Wynnum-Manly and hosted by Queensland SSRL. As expected the quality of this event was second to none with the incredible support of this great club. To Phil Hall, Secretary QSSRL, Dave Seeley and the committee and, the Wynnum-Manly family, once again we say thanks for your professional organisation and unerring support and loyalty.
Pool A Champions Queensland SSRL
Pool B Champions Victoria
Danny Buderus received a Testimonial dinner at the Wests Newcastle Rugby League Club in September. As one of our outstanding Patrons, we congratulate Danny on his wonderful career. A career with so many highlights; Club Captain, State of Origin Captain, Captain of the Australian Kangaroos and where he attributes the beginning, as a member of the 1995 Australian Schoolboys Team which toured France and England.
He is a great role model, a great person and a genuine supporter of Australian Schoolboys Rugby League. We are proud of our association with Danny Buderus.
We also congratulate another Patron of the ASSRLC, Mr Michael Buettner on the success of his management of this years inaugural Toyota Cup. Also we thank Michael for his efforts in always attending our national championships and test matches and contributing to these occasions by actively participating in presentations and official functions, representing the NRL.
In November the ASSRLC will be conducting a biennial conference where we will be evaluating the championship structures which were implemented in 2007-08. Also we will be discussing the issue of elite player burn out. This is a topic which needs some empirical research for sound decisions to be made regarding the impacts on our elite young players. Also the recent changes to the structure of the ARL elite competitions will be discussed. This conference will be valuable for setting future directions of the Council.
Another highlight this year will be the bestowing of Life Membership of the ASSRLC to Val Murphy. Val has been the long term ambassador of Rugby League in Western Australia. As the Principal of Aranmore Catholic High School he conducted Rugby League Programs and has been a delegate to the ASSRLC for many years. His efforts not only in WA, have fostered the improvement of our game in the Affiliated States. No one has done more to promote the game of Rugby League in the States where Rugby League is a minority sport. Val is a most deserved recipient of Life Membership.
The ASSRLC is fortunate to have a few loyal, long term sponsors and we wish to pass on the due recognition they deserve. Mr Paul Nash, Director, Corporate Sports Australia, naming rights sponsor of the International Series, many thanks for your generous, ongoing support, enabling us to minimise the costs for the students representing the ASSRLC. Appreciation is also extended to Mr Tony Magnus, Managing Director, Classic Sportswear for the support of his company for over a decade and for our new long term agreement to 2018. Also, for Tony’s personal support and encouragement, to investigate and present an Australian Schoolboys Centenary Team. Appreciation is also extended to the Australian Training Company and Mr Jim Whiteside, Director, for his company’s long term and continued support of the 18 Years, Player of the final award.
The ASSRL programs are a part of the ARL system and we are most fortunate to have the support of the ARL Board and their Chairman, Mr Colin Love and the Chief Executive, Mr Geoff Carr. The programs of the ASSRL are the ‘flagships’ of elite junior Rugby League development and we are grateful that Geoff avails himself to all of our major events where possible. Mr Bill Palmer, Manager ARL Development, Mr Steve Palin, Operations Manager, ARLD are integral supporters of the ASSRL. We are grateful for their contributions to championships and to this years Centenary Team event.
Two very special people who are integral to the operation of the ASSRLC are Mr John Coates, Chief Operating Officer of the ARL and Life Member of the ASSRLC and, Mr Paul Walker, Communications Manager, ARL Development. These two gentlemen foster the professional development of the Executive of the ASSRLC as well as making invaluable contributions to Australian Championships, Conferences, Publicity and General Meetings - assisting in the logistics of keeping the ASSRL at the forefront of elite junior development.
Gratitude is also extended to Mr Ken Rogers, President, School Sport Australia for his attendance and participation in the official events of the ASSRLC.
This year’s international program required the support of a number of particular groups. Firstly appreciation is extended to Mr Martin Meredith, Coaching and Development Manager, NSWRL Academy and Mr Tas Baitieri, Operations Manager, Rugby League World Cup, for their invaluable contribution to the French Juniors tour of Australia. Also to NSWCHS, Mr David Whittock and Mr Kevin Stacey, for their coordination of the international match between the French Juniors and the NSWCHS Development Squad.
This match was held at the St Marys Club and we thank Mr Warren Smith, President and the Board of Directors of the Club for their hosting of this event.
Next years program includes the 18 Years Australian Championships in Newcastle hosted by the NSW Combined Independent Schools (12th – 17th July). The 15 Years Championship hosting venue will be determined at the November meeting of the ASSRLC but the Championships will occur - (28th June - 3rd July).
At this stage the international program will include a tour of Australia by the Great Britain Community Lions and either New Zealand or Papua-New Guinea. This tour will occur early to mid-August 2009. GB to enter Australia via the Affiliated States and NZ or PNG to tour NSW and /or QLD. Venues TBC.
The program this year in the Centenary of Rugby League has been very busy and a great deal of support has been afforded to the ASSRL by many and varied groups whose input has been invaluable to what has been a stand out year for the ASSRLC Inc. To anyone who contributed in any way to this years Centenary program we are eternally grateful.