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Thread: New signing locked in

  1. #1
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    New signing locked in

    Mackay is certainly an excellent 7's player and will bring plenty of mobility to the pack.
    I would have seen him as an impact bench player covering #4-6,8 rather than just being labelled a Lock though.

    New signing locked in

    John-Paul Moloney, Canberra Times
    October 29, 2008 - 12:59PM


    They might not always build them big at Sydney's Waverley College, but they certainly build them well.

    The relatively light frame of ACT Brumbies No8 Stephen Hoiles has long posed a quandary for Test selectors. While blessed with a wide range of skills, his 98kg frame was first held against him by John Connolly and now, seemingly, by Robbie Deans.

    Following in the Hoiles tradition is his former schoolmate, new Brumbies rookie lock Shawn Mackay.

    At 102kg, he is at least 10kg lighter than a typical lock and a couple of centimetres shorter.

    But what Mackay has at his disposal is rare athleticism. He was so gifted an 800m runner he was unbeaten at Sydney's top schools athletics carnival for three years.

    He played junior league at the Sydney Roosters after school and then more recently has put his speed and endurance to use as captain of the Australian Sevens team.

    Yesterday he finished an impressive second in a "yo yo" endurance test (similar to a beep test) to renowned fitness star Julian Salvi.

    Mackay said he believed his athleticism and workrate could prove major assets to the Brumbies next season.

    "That's what I feel I'm around for and if I can give 100 per cent then my positive energy should filter around the boys," Mackay said.

    "With the new ELVs, a running back-rower or even a running lock, they've got some skills to offer in the 15-a-side game. This is my time, my time to shine and I'm really looking forward to it."

    Brumbies coach Andy Friend first encountered Mackay on the Sevens circuit in 2005 and was impressed by what he saw.

    When the ACT appointed Friend as Laurie Fisher's replacement, one of the first questions he asked was, "What's happened to Shawn Mackay?"

    As it happened, Mackay was trying in vain to crack a spot in Queensland's squad and very much available.

    Friend said his stature wasn't a concern.

    "To me it's just not that important. Look at Hoiles, look at Matt Giteau. You don't have to be a big player to be successful at this level.

    "Obviously you don't want a pack of lightweights, but what you get with a player like Shawn is real dynamism."

    While Friend is prepared to back a player seemingly custom-made for the faster experimental law variations era, when he sits his front-rowers down in the next few weeks, he'll be pushing more traditional values.

    A tighthead prop must hold up the right side of a scrum, a loosehead must be able to disrupt the left, a hooker must be able to hit his jumpers in the lineout.

    Friend said other skills, such as quick hands or footwork, were "stocking fillers" handy to have, but ancillary to the main business.

    "There's a tendency these days to try to have players who are all things to everybody. We've sat down as a coaching staff and worked out a basic job description for each player.

    "They'll have to perform those fundamental tasks and everything else will be secondary."

    New scrum coach and former Brumbies and Test prop, Bill Young, will arrive in Canberra next week to ram home that message.

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    Veteran TOCC's Avatar
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    poor bloke, his stuck in limbo because of his size, to big or to small for various positions. He should switch to hooker.

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    Legend Contributor brokendown gunfighter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TOCC View Post
    poor bloke, his stuck in limbo because of his size, to big or to small for various positions. He should switch to hooker.
    not too many opportunities for male hookers either,or so they tell me

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    Veteran mudskipper's Avatar
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    I can see Mackay becoming a good blindside loosie especially in the second half when the pace slows. His fitness and speed will be an advantage. Tall but 10+ kg lighter than other locks. He could be a possible No.8 working a offensive good combo with halfback Josh Holmes.

    Mackay, Shawn Flanker/Lock 31.05.1982 1.96m 102kg

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    I would certainly be looking at him at 6 - we desperately need more players for an Elsom-like role and a mobile 100+kg unit fits the bill nicely. All he needs is a desire to get into the hard places.

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    Veteran mudskipper's Avatar
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    I think MacKay is really pumped for the S14...He is a little older but is a leader, I think he will do well. The Brumbies also signed Ben Hand which you may recall from the ARC Rams his ws there Captain, last year he left the Tahs and went to Italy so he could get a run. He looks good also and is keen to push for a start.

    Hand, Ben Lock 24.04.1982 1.96m 114kg

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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyS View Post
    All he needs is a desire to get into the hard places.
    From the matches I have seen of him he certainly seems to have that willingness, both for Aus 7's and Randwick.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mudskipper View Post
    I think MacKay is really pumped for the S14...He is a little older but is a leader, I think he will do well. The Brumbies also signed Ben Hand which you may recall from the ARC Rams his ws there Captain, last year he left the Tahs and went to Italy so he could get a run. He looks good also and is keen to push for a start.

    Hand, Ben Lock 24.04.1982 1.96m 114kg
    They have an inordinate amount of locks in Timani, Hand, Mackay, Chisholm, Campbell and Kimlin. And thats only the ones off the top of my head.

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    And Chapman.
    Looks like they have let Wal go, wht's the story with him?
    If still playing, I wonder if he's ready to come home yet...

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    I thought he went off to Japan?

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    Adam Wallace-Harrison and Alister Campbell have moved on. I think Wallace-Harrison has signed with a club in Japan; Iím not sure about Campbell. The Brumbies have a good size new pack and invited back former Brumbies/Wallabies players in Forwards Coach - Owen Finegan & Scrum Coach - Bill Young

    BRUMBIES FORWARD PACK FOR 2009

    Henderson, Nic Prop 1.86m 117kg
    Alexander, Ben Prop 1.89m 120kg
    Shepherdson, Guy Prop 1.87m 119kg
    Ma'afu, Salesi Prop 1.84m 126kg

    Moore, Stephen Hooker 1.86m 112kg
    Ulugia, John Prop/Hooker 1.80m 113g
    Edmonds, Hui Hooker 1.83m 103kg

    Chapman, Mitchell Lock/Blindside Flanker 1.97m 110kg
    Chisholm, Mark Lock/Flanker 1.97m 115kg
    Kimlin, Peter Lock/No.8 1.98m 114kg
    Hand, Ben Lock 1.96m 114kg
    Timani, Sitaleki Lock 2.02m 119kg
    Mackay, Shawn Flanker/Lock 1.96m 102kg


    Hoiles, Stephen No.8/Flanker 1.90m 101kg
    Salvi, Julian Flanker 1.87m 100kg
    Smith, George Flanker 1.80m 104kg

    The Brumbies should have a strong forwards bench if all goes well and the new boys are up to it...especially with the locks

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    Could just about see an experienced combo alternating as starting FR with a development FR depending on the strength of the opposition.

    1. Shepherdson, 2. Moore, 3. Henderson

    1. Alexander, 2. Ulugia 3. Ma'afu

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    10kg lighter, good choice for jumper in lineout, Quick mobile forwards are always good valve and being a 800mtr champ he will have the endurance to make a differance with the ELVs. Junior leauge experiance should bring good defensive habits. good choice to be sharpies understudy imo

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    Hui Edmonds did well last year. Most noticed his ball and running skills, however is an accurate thrower in the line out.

    New Coach Andy Friend (former Harlequins coach) has already stated to the squad that their key positional skills and fitness comes first before any additional ball running skills. I think that will help focus the team because they lost their way last year…

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    Although I rate him, at this stage of his career, I would see Edmonds as the fulltime Bench Hooker, being able to inject him into the match around the fifty five minute mark as Hooker, but bringing an extra Loosie in effect.
    That open nature isn't usually available in the first half where a stronger, positional player is required.
    Probably give him a start on Tour to easy the work load on Moore and keep him interested, but he won't be expecting much more IMHO.

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