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Campbells create brother-sister history and more to come against Fiji's best

Tue, 08/03/2022, 7:10 am
Jim Tucker
by Jim Tucker
Jock and Tina Campbell making history with the Reds. Photo: Brendan Hertel/QRU
Jock and Tina Campbell making history with the Reds. Photo: Brendan Hertel/QRU

The sibling history created by Jock and Tina Campbell last weekend in Perth was so much more powerful because they celebrated it together.

The first brother and sister to play Super Rugby and Super W for Queensland on the same night even got the chance to belt a victory song in the same dressing room. Together.

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Not so many years ago, the demarcation between men’s and women’s rugby was almost like they were two different sports.

The women played for their states at cost-cutting carnivals at school or club grounds, kit was sparse, medical and coaching support for teams was lean and there was little contact with the professional Super Rugby sides.

Fast forward to March. 2022. The Queensland men’s and women’s sides shared a charter flight to Perth and won back-to-back over the Western Force at Perth’s HBF Park.

It’s what followed so naturally that made it a watershed moment.

“There’s a great culture on the women’s and men’s teams and we didn’t let a challenging week with flight delays or (flood) issues back home affect us,” Tina said.

“The men are welcoming and supportive. We did do a little war cry together after their game.

“It was just a great moment in the dressing room, something quite special, and we hope a lot of other organisations get around that.”

Both teams belted out a reworking of the classic AC/DC chorus to T.N.T. with Q.L.D. inserted.

“The best Campbell,” No.8 Harry Wilson roared in welcome when Tina and her team-mates joined the dressing room after the Reds’ 29-16 win.

Both Campbells will be back at it on Saturday night at Suncorp Stadium. Lock Tina will play the early game against Fijiana and winger Jock is ready for a tough clash against the flair of the Fijian Drua.

They now have their own slice of sporting history alongside Sam (football) and Daniel Kerr (AFL), Reggie and Cheryl Miller (basketball), Bianca Giteau (netball) and Lance Franklin (AFL) and other brother-sister acts.

Only now can Tina, 29 and try-scoring brother Jock, 26, reflect on how far they have come since playing junior rugby together for the Inverell Highlanders.

“We’re quite relaxed people so sometimes we don’t think of how special it is both playing for Queensland,” Tina said.

Jock has started 2022 with a bang. Tries, footwork and slick passing have all made a mark from wing and fullback.

“Going to Perth is the first time we’ve travelled with the women’s team, the games were back-to-back and I got the chance to watch when she ran on. It was pretty cool,” Jock said.

“She does the hard work...she’s in the forwards.”

Campbell’s favourite poster on his bedroom wall, as a kid, was of WWE wrestling superstar John Cena.

Tina and Jock Campbell in their junior rugby days with the Inverell Highlanders
Tina and Jock Campbell in their junior rugby days with the Inverell Highlanders

“Jock would ask me out to the backyard and try to practice some WWE move. I was taller and bigger. I’m still the boss...the only girl in the fam,” Tina said with a laugh.

Jock did try to inflict Cena’s “Attitude Adjustment” move with a full body lift and flip but Tina could whack him with a tackle as well.

“I have fond memories of junior rugby together, me definitely being the only girl out on the wing,” Tina said.

Tina’s career trajectory was much less certain but finding her feet with Easts in Sydney and now GPS in Brisbane has clicked.

“I just got an urge because I missed competitive sport. I thought ‘Jock’s pretty handy so maybe I’ll be OK’. So, here we are,” Tina said.

She elaborated less on no longer being able to play rugby with the boys after Under-12s. Touch, basketball and netball only filled the void so much. She’s delighted to be back in rugby and seeing the pathways now open for women.

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“I’m only three years into it so I’m still a rookie but it’s good to see the great environment for women’s rugby now,” Tina said.

The captain’s curse has well and truly gripped the Reds with lock LukhanSalakaia-Loto joining halfback Tate McDermott on the sidelines for a month or more with a high ankle strain.

Flanker Liam Wright (shoulder) may also be another week away.

“The Drua are a dangerous team. The key for us is to keep the ball off them and force them into situations they are not comfortable with,” Campbell said.

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