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Thread: Friend's surprise call leads to debut

  1. #1
    Veteran mudskipper's Avatar
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    Post Friend's surprise call leads to debut

    For somebody who is yet to make his Super 14 debut, ACT Brumbies utility Shawn Mackay has achieved a heck of a lot in his rugby career.
    Following a four-year stint in league from 2000 with the Sydney Roosters, Mackay began what turned out to be a successful rugby Sevens calling.

    It was during a Singapore tour with Sydney club side Randwick in 2004 that Mackay caught the attention of the then-Australian Sevens coach Bill Millard.

    Millard signed him to the national team and made him captain the following year, a mantle he held until retiring last year.

    Following a dominant on-field Sevens career, Mackay ventured into coaching, where he led the first Australian women's Sevens team to an unbeaten Oceania Sevens title last year.

    That win earned them automatic entry into the inaugural women's World Cup Sevens, which the Aussies won earlier this month.

    But while enjoying a stellar ride in Sevens rugby, deep down Mackay wanted to play in the Super 14.

    And it was an unexpected phone call from Brumbies coach Andy Friend in May last year that sparked his switch to the 15-a-side version.

    ''Friendy was actually the assistant coach of the Australian [Sevens] team when we toured LA and Wellington back in early 2005 so that's where we met,'' Mackay said.

    ''I hadn't seen him for years when he randomly rang me last year when I was in Scotland and was like 'Macca what have you been doing the past four years and why aren't you playing Super rugby back home?'

    ''He asked me if I wanted a gig with the Brumbies, I said yes straight away and got back to Canberra for the pre-season.''

    This weekend Mackay will make his Super 14 debut when he comes off the bench for the Brumbies against the Johannesburg Lions at Ellis Park.

    Friend had named Mackay as 23rd man for the opening four matches but solid on-field performances from the first-choice players made it tough for the coach to make changes.

    But an injury to skipper Stephen Hoiles last week made way for Mackay to finally get his break.

    Friend kept Mackay as part of an extended squad during the first month of the competition due to his bright personality and impact on the team.

    ''He's just got such a positive attitude which makes it too hard to not want him around the team as often as possible,'' Friend said.

    ''As a coach you're always looking for ways to give those guys an opportunity and Macca definitely deserves this chance.

    ''He epitomises what a coach wants to see in every player and I'm sure all the team could learn a thing or two off Macca.''

    Mackay, a lock-flanker, played in both Brumbies' pre-season trials.

    He discovered then that having come from Sevens rugby, his speed and fitness gave him an advantage and he's hoping to capitalise on that against the Lions early on Sunday.

    ''They told me the first 20 minutes of a Super 14 match was the fastest and hardest, but an entire Sevens game only takes 14 minutes,'' Mackay said. ''If I can come on in the second half when there are some tired legs out there, I'd like to think I could exploit that and have a solid impact on the game.''


    http://www.canberratimes.com.au/news...px?storypage=0

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    Always good to see bypassed players get a chance. Twenty nine more and we have a fifth team.

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    Having seen a bit of him in Sevens, I was always surprised he wasn't picked up sooner.
    Hope he goes well.

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    Senior Player BaldCunus's Avatar
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    so another ex leaguie at the Brumbies???

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    "The only trophy we won this day, was the blood and sweat we left on the pitch.... and it was enough"



    "Rugby may have many problems, but the gravest is undoubtedly that of the persistence of summer."
    Chris Laidlaw, New Zealand rugby player and sportswriter. Mud in Your Eye: A Worm's Eye View of the Changing World of Rugby (I 973).


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    Brumbies don't have Leaguies.

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    Veteran mudskipper's Avatar
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    He recently went to Dubai in the brumbies bye week to be with the women's Sevens team... he and others have done a great job with the girls Aussie winning the 7s RWC...

    I really interested to see what he's got... especially in ELV rugby... Tall but a light weight lock...


    Nickname Macca (no surprize there McRanga)
    Height 1.96m
    Weight 104kg
    Date of Birth 31 May 1982
    Place of Birth Sydney, NSW

    RUGBY CAREER
    Playing Position Lock/Back Row
    Juniors Clovelly Eagles, NSW
    School Waverley College, NSW
    Senior Club Randwick, NSW
    Major Rep Honours Australian Sevens (2004-2007)



    Shawn Mackay is a mobile and hard-running lock/back rower known for his non-compromising defence and slick ball skills. The fair-haired forward has been a regular on the international Sevens circuit for the past five years and has been a try-scoring regular throughout his Sevens and club rugby career. After 4 years representing Randwick in Sydney’s club rugby competition, Mackay linked with Brisbane’s University of Queensland club on completion of the 2008 Sevens calendar with a view to staking his claim for selection in the Queensland Reds squad. Despite University’s lowly finish to the season, he was selected in the representative Queensland XV that defeated Auckland NPC side 42-0 in June before signing with the CA Brumbies the following month. He concluded his 2008 season by coaching the first-ever Australian Women’s Sevens side to an unbeaten Oceania Sevens title and automatic qualification for the inaugural Rugby World Cup Sevens women’s event in Dubai in March 2009.

    Born in Sydney, Mackay began playing rugby as a five-year-old with the Clovelly Eagles. He attended Sydney’s Waverley College with CA Brumbies teammates Stephen Hoiles and Patrick Phibbs before signing with the National Rugby League’s Sydney Roosters on leaving school in 2000. Mackay played five seasons with the Roosters’ SG Ball (Under 18), Jersey Flegg (Under 21) and Premier Division sides before returning to rugby in 2004. His return signalled the beginning of an extensive Sevens career between 2004 and 2008, taking over captaincy of the side from 2005 onwards. Mackay signed with the Waratahs in 2006, earning six state caps for the NSW side through the Australian Provincial Championship and the end-of-season development tour of the United Kingdom. He joined the Melbourne Rebels last year during for the Mazda Australian Rugby Championship where he started at blindside flanker during their 20-12 loss to the Central Coast Rays in the final.



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    Last edited by mudskipper; 20-03-09 at 14:16.

  7. #7
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    He's probably as close as Australia has come to a "pro" Sevens player.

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