From Shute Shield to the Olympics

Chris Ford Profile
by Chris Ford

It’s been good week for Australia’s John Porch, first celebrating his club side Northern Suburbs break their 41-year Shute Shield drought, then walk onto the Maracana Stadium for the Rio Opening Ceremony.

Just 12 months ago, the 22-year old was preparing with North Harbour Rays for a season in the National Rugby Championship but now fast forward and Porch is less than 24 hours away from an Olympic debut.

“A year ago playing Shute Shield, I wouldn’t have thought this was going to happen at all,” Porch said.

“I’m very grateful that Andy (coach Andy Friend) has shown belief in me and given me the opportunity so I hope I can go out there and prove him right.”

“I joined (the Sevens program) in January this year, then played in Wellington for my first tournament and I have grown so much this last eight months.”

The men take on France first up on day one of their competition before facing Spain to wrap up tomorrow at 5am AEST.

The men’s action will continue on day two with a clash against South Africa before quarter-finals begin later in the morning.

Australia have been lapping up the Olympic atmosphere, both inside the Athletes’ Village and out-and-about.

“We have been watching most of the girls games and the swimming mostly,” Porch said.

“It’s surreal that I’m here at the moment.”

“We have really come together as a family and we’re a tight knit bunch of boys and it’s exciting times ahead for us.”

Australia men’s Olympic campaign

Wednesday 10 August (12am AEST) against France

Wedneday 10 August (5am AEST) against Spain

Thursday 11th August (12.30am AEST) against South Africa