Former international rugby star attends junior season sign-on
RETIRED international rugby union player Brent Cockbain surprised local kids with a special training session at the Whitsunday Junior Raiders season sign-on last Friday night.
More than 100 kids came raring to go for the 10 week season, making the most of an opportunity to have a run with Cockbain and pick up a few valuable tips on the way.
Originally starting out as a grassroots player in Innisfail, Cockbain went on to represent Australia in the under-19s and under-21s before qualifying for Wales and making his international representative debut in the Rugby World Cup in 2003.
He also played in the British and Irish Lions tour of New Zealand in 2005.
Cockbain said it was nice to be able to give something back to the sport.
“The junior level is always great to work with because they pick up on things so quickly and they are a passionate bunch of kids which is really positive,” he said.
“The best part about the game is that even if you don’t make it as an international or professional athlete, it’s a great way of meeting people anywhere in the world.”
Six players from the Whitsunday Junior Raiders were selected to play in the Queensland Bushrangers representative sides after competing in the Queensland junior rugby state titles in Emerald early this month.
Under-17s player Kieran Anderson and under-16s player Jacob Cheeseman made the cut and under-13 players Ben Cornish, Jack Kearns, Jeremy Kempston and Tyrell Lafituanai also made the team.
All under-10s, under-12s and under-14s players will now be busy preparing for the Whitsunday’s first junior raiders carnival next weekend from July 27-28.
Interested players can still sign-on at the Raiders Rugby Club at the Whitsunday Sports Park from 6pm tomorrow.
RISING STARS: Whitsunday Junior Raiders players (front) Lachlan Skead, Sam Wilson, Lachlan Wade, Aaron Kearns, (back) Joe Wilson, Jack Ryan, Gus Muller, Jack Opie and Judd Pratt picked up a few skills from retired international rugby union legend Brent Cockbain at the club's sign-on last week.