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Thread: Drug ban behind Force scrum-half

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    Drug ban behind Force scrum-half

    Western Force have given scrum-half Ryan Louwrens a second chance at a professional rugby career after being banned for two years for using anabolic steroids as a teenager in South Africa.

    Scrum-half Louwrens, 22, who plays for Cottesloe, and UWA inside back Luke Burton, 19, who represented Australia in this year's Junior World Cup, have come through the Force academy to sign one-year extended squad contracts.

    Johannesburg-born Louwrens, a former Churchlands High School student, joined the academy in 2008, but returned to South Africa a year later to finish his schooling. He represented Valke in the Craven Week schoolboys tournament and the under-19 Currie Cup before being hit with the sanction. He rejoined the academy in 2011 and represented the Force A side for the past two seasons.

    A survey revealed that one in six rugby players at some of South Africa's top schools had tested positive for various steroids and Louwrens, who was introduced to the drug by another player, said there was huge pressure to succeed.

    "I was 18 and uninformed, young and stupid," he said.

    "I wouldn't say I was unaware. I was basically uninformed about the substance. It was pretty stupid and I had two years where I couldn't play rugby at any level.

    "For two years I was stressed out hoping and praying to get the opportunity again. I never thought it would come around. Now it has happened, it's unreal.

    "I have learnt from my mistakes and I've moved on. I'm so grateful for the Force for this opportunity."

    Burton, a former Hale schoolboy, turned down interest from Melbourne Rebels.

    He played for WA under-15, 16, 17 and schoolboy sides before making the junior Wallabies, playing all five matches in this year's tournament in France, scoring two tries.

    "I'm really excited, it's an awesome feeling and I'm grateful for the opportunity," Burton said.

    "Being born and bred in WA, it has always been a goal and aspiration to play for the Force."

    Six local players have been recruited for 2014, with Louwrens and Burton joining prop Kieran Longbottom and backs Kyle Godwin, Dane Haylett-Petty and Zack Holmes.

    Foley was pleased to have a record number of local players in his squad.

    "We are a WA team and it's important we acknowledge quality local talent," Foley said.

    "Luke and Ryan have earned their opportunity through consistent performances in the local competition."

    http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/spo...ce-scrum-half/

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    “Everyone knows whether it’s rugby, politics or whatever, front-rowers should rule the world, so to have a hooker at the helm makes sense,” Nathan Charles Western Force & Wallabies Hooker.

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    Good all the more reason to look at http://www.keeprugbyclean.com

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    That will be the first of the press releases from the forums

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    And probably not the last media article bringing up the drug thing in relation to his name.

    The media won't let it alone until he signs for the Tahs.

    But good to see he is putting it behind him and making the most of his career, I only hope he's strong enough to endure the spotlight that comes from being a Force player.

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    C'mon the

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    Has anybody seen this bloke, he is massive for a halfback!! There has to be something other than a two year ban for taking steroids, maybe they have to drop down to a certain weight or something as it looks as if he was on them right up until a little bit before his ban!!! But he is a very good player, and so he bloody should be!

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    Watched him play last week. Big lad and good luck to him. A mistake as a kid should be forgiven and i am sure that he will be monitored heavily in the future.

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    Not a smart move by the Force.

    This will tarnish the brand and will deter potential sponsors.

    The media will not let it drop and the entire franchise will be dragged through the mud until he goes elsewhere.

    In a competitive market, a sporting franchise cannot take this level of risk.

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    Last edited by RumourMonger; 30-08-13 at 11:01.

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    Immortal GIGS20's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RumourMonger View Post
    Not a smart move by the Force.

    This will tarnish the brand and will deter potential sponsors.
    Piss off back to the community rugby side of the wall

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    C'mon the

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    Player Marty_Mcfly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RumourMonger View Post
    Not a smart move by the Force.

    This will tarnish the brand and will deter potential sponsors.
    will it??
    (aside from the obvious "durr herr, he's a juice junkie")

    I am more surprised at the 1 in 6 positive tests at schoolboy level. Call me naïve but that sounds pretty high...?

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    Give the guy a break he was a teenager and did a silly thing, he's done the time.

    Crumbs, if we are really going to be holier than thou, perhaps we should not stop at Steroids - if you've lost drink driving demerit points, maybe we should seriously question your ability to make decisions, where does it stop?

    He is talented, has the huge possibility of being one of us Sandgropers playing Super Rugby, let's embrace him, give him our support let bygones be bygones.

    Good luck Ryan for the Grand Final.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hansie View Post

    He is talented, has the huge possibility of being one of us Sandgropers playing Super Rugby, let's embrace him, give him our support let bygones be bygones.
    He was born in J Burg... but that aside good on him for getting this exciting opportunity, i'm sure he will make the most of it and one day pull on the Force Jersey!

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    My comments relate to anyone with such a serious conviction. Not singling this guy out.

    Drugs in sport is such a hot potato at present and I would have thought its a risk deliberating engaging with anyone that has a history.

    Conversely, if a member of the sporting squad was found to be taking prohibited substances the franchise should immediately dismiss the individual (s). No room for this 3 strikes and you're out business.

    Brands need a squeaky clean image. Rugby in WA needs lots of positive messages as the media jumps on any negative vibes to their own advantage. Sponsors are ultra sensitive to these things and given that the Force are currently on the hunt for new sponsors I really do question this decision.

    Watch this space I suppose; I suspect I might be saying "I told you so" at some point Hansie (again).

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    Champion MI5_Dog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RumourMonger View Post
    Not a smart move by the Force.

    This will tarnish the brand and will deter potential sponsors.

    The media will not let it drop and the entire franchise will be dragged through the mud until he goes elsewhere.

    In a competitive market, a sporting franchise cannot take this level of risk.
    Seeing as you are a fan of ensuring that people only comment on things they have been invloved in I will have to assume you've been banned from a sport for taking an illegal supplement?

    Are you James Hird?

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    Sportsmen are generally given two strikes; first is a two-year ban and second varies from long ban to lifetime (depending on the sport). It allows that you can make a mistake - one mistake - without ruining your life.

    If brands need a squeaky clean image, then the Force should have let Brownie go years ago (he was involved in Quokkagate) and definately shouldn't look at Rabbit; but actually the Force go pretty well against some other teams (Reds - Cooper, Rebels/Tahs - Beale, Wallabies - Cooper, Beale & Rabbit!) especially considering the team stance on Mafi and Ripia.

    RM might get to say "I told you so" again, but Ryan's done his time (2 year ban, the penalty in force at the time) and should be allowed to rehabilitate himself.

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    I'm sure it'll be a condition of his contract that even the slightest hint of a banned substance will result in him being sent packing immediately.

    I think Mafi's sacking is evidence enough that there are no second chances once you've committed to the Force. And rightly so imo.

    Hopefully Ryan will realise that his destiny is in his own hands now.

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