One Percenters: Cherry's road to Tokyo begins

by Beth Newman, Emma Greenwood and Iain Payten

Emilee Cherry’s road to Tokyo 2020 is underway after she and her partner welcomed a daughter last week.

Cherry and partner Dan Barton welcomed daughter Alice last Friday, announcing her arrival on social media this week.

The 26-year-old has been open about her ambition to feature in Tokyo 2020 and she will have all the support she needs under Rugby Australia’s Pregnancy Policy.

There is no rigid timeline on Cherry’s return to the Sevens side, with the best case scenario that she could be back in action for December’s Cape Town Sevens.


A Sydney Sevens comeback in February 2020 shapes as a more realistic scenario potentially but there will be no pressure on Cherry to rush herself back.

When she does return to the circuit, the 2014 World Sevens Player of the Year will have the ability to bring Alice and a carer on tour with her, under the policy.

Cherry wouldn’t be the first mother to compete for the Aussies in the Olympics – Nicole Beck had returned to the sport after her first daughter Sophie was born, for the 2016 campaign and played in Rio in the early stages of her second pregnancy as well.

Gibbon ticks off another milestone in whirlwind year

Matt Gibbon has been involved in Wallabies camp. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart WalmsleyIt’s been a massive year for Rebels prop Matt Gibbon, who has gone from being unknown and uncontracted this time last year to training with the Wallabies.

Gibbon, 23, was an electrician playing Shute Shield footy for Southern Districts last year when he was given a summer training spot with the Rebels.

The prop from tiny Alstonville, in b etween Lismore and Ballina on NSW's far North Coast, impressed Dave Wessels so much he was kept on and was named to make his Super Rugby debut in round one.

Gibbon went on to play in every Rebels’ game for the season and last week won the respected Spirit of Weary Dunlop award, which honours Melbourne’s hardest working club man.

As they say on the Shopping network - but wait … there’s more.

Last week, with the Brumbies players unavailable, Gibbon was one of a handful of rising players called into Wallabies camp by coach Michael Cheika to fill out the training teams.

Harry Johnson-Holmes in Wallabies camp. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart WalmsleyWaratahs prop Harry Johnson-Holmes and Rebels centre Campbell Magnay also got a run.

The trio will stay with the Wallabies this week as they train in Brisbane.

Rugby community mourns Lesotho players after tragic accident

There was desperately sad news for Lesotho last week when five members of the small African country’s girls under 16 team were killed in a traffic accident while on tour in South Africa.

The youngsters were in a van that was involved in a terrible crash outside of Bloemfontein, sending Lesotho into a state of mourning.

Members of the rugby world expressed their shock and condolences, and everyone in Australian rugby no doubt sends their condolences as well.

Ballymore development still waiting on state contribution

No official word yet on a start date for work on the Ballymore redevelopment, with an injection of funds from the Queensland State Government still required for the project to get across the line.

The Federal LNP Government committed $15 to the redevelopment of the Herston site to become the headquarters of women's rugby, along with a cutting edge precinct for the Reds and Queensland women's teams and development academy.

Australian rugby and the QRU have also committed $5 million to the project.

State pollies are also believed to be on board, with hopes high of an announcement soon.

Victoria top Wheelchair nationals


Victoria have taken out the gold medal match at the 2019 Wheelchair nationals after a thrilling final against the Queensland Tornadoes.

The Victorians edged out the northerners 56-55 in the last game on day three, while the Queensland Cyclones took bronze with a 63-57 win over New Zealand.

Sydney Juniors cross over for big day out

There were plenty of Sydney youngsters in action at this weekend's gala days across the city. Photo: SuppliedIt was a big weekend for the Sydney Juniors, with 310 U6-U9s teams coming together for a massive gala day this weekend.

This day was played at nine venues with close to 600 'minis' games being played across all the different stages.

This season's was the second annual event with the aim to give youngsters a chance to meet some new and different opponents.

It wasn't just rugby they were getting involved in, with different events like running races and tug-of-war being held through the afternoon as well.

Jaguares turn up the energy before kick-off


The Jaguares were ruthless against the Brumbies but they were ready to go even before the first whistle went.

Vision has circulated on social media and from the TV broadcast showing the scenes as the team ran out of the tunnel at Jose Amalfitani Stadium on Saturday morning (AEST).

If that's the feeling ahead of a semi-final, you get the sense a final might be a little bit crazy, even in a hostile Christchurch visit.