Southport Students gifted the lesson of a lifetime

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By Community Rugby, ARU Media Unit

Ten Rugby-playing Students from the Southport School on the Gold Coast were last week gifted the ultimate lesson in the game, training alongside the Qantas Wallabies on their home turf.

Ranging from 15-18, some of Southport's finest got the chance many Australian kids dream about each day.. to go toe-to-toe with a Wallaby.

The boys, listed below, took part in a range of drills overlooked by Qantas Wallabies coaches Robbie Deans and Jim Williams, with many of the boys also put through their paces by assistant and special coaches for the national side.

- David Henaway, 16
- John Simmons, 16
- Josh McHugh, 18
- Anthony Vassiliades, 17
- Harry McCallum, 16
- Sam Clifton, 16
- Oscar Millroys, 17
- Vincent Cooney, 16
- Matthew Fairnington, 18
- Zac Potter, 17
- Dom Paranthoiene, 16
- Brendan Elliot, 17
- Campbell Wakeley, 17
- Mitch Third, 15
- Lachlan Duncan, 16
- Nicholas Oui, 18
- Sam Fattal, 17

It wasn't just the playing roster, however, which had a range of new faces through out with four of Southport's Junior Rugby players also gifted a chance to join the coaching team and shadow some of Australia's best Rugby brains around the paddock.

• Matthew Grant
• Sol Budinger
• Matthew Vertullo
• Sam Payne

Thoughts of a Parent, from the sideline:
My son ... was given the opportunity of a lifetime on Monday afternoon to be waterboy for the Wallabies.
All 4 boys chosen had a wonderful time but I know for Matthew it was like winning the lottery. The look on his face, his smile, for a couple of hours he walked and talked with giants!! His heores, he grew 10 foot tall. The Wallabies were wonderful to the boys, talking to them, interacting with them and having their photos taken, then at the end of the day as if it couldn't have got any better, Quade Cooper and a couple of others put up some high bombs for Matt to catch, which he did and they all clapped. He didn't stop talking all evening and he spoke of each wallaby he'd spoken to as if they were best mates.  The whole afternoon is what dreams are made of.
So, a thousand thank you's for the incredible opportunity, I myself (long time wallaby fan) enjoyed it all as well and tucking Matt into bed that night, I was a very happy, very proud mum

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