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Thread: Stannard has lived the highs and lows

  1. #1
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    Stannard has lived the highs and lows

    Stannard has lived the highs and lows

    NICK TAYLOR, The West Australian October 16, 2010, 10:17 am

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    James Stannard has been on an emotional two-year, rollercoaster rugby ride.
    The likable scrum-half went from the lows of not knowing where his career was heading after being cut by the Western Force to the highs of playing for - and captaining - the Australian Sevens side and now he is heading back to Perth and Super rugby.
    He has added a Commonwealth Games silver medal to his growing list of awards that include leading Australia to their first IRB tournament victory since 2002 when they won in London.
    He was named player of that tournament and could cap off the year with another medal after being chosen as a finalist for Australia Rugby Union's Sevens Player of the Year.
    Not bad for a boilermaker who only dared to dream of playing professional rugby.
    Stannard, 26, made his Force debut in Bloemfontein in 2008 after Matt Henjak was sacked and made 10 appearances before being released.
    Back at the Force next season he will battle incumbent scrum-half Brett Sheehan and young star Justin Turner, currently sidelined after damaging a knee in the IRB junior world championships.
    "It's been an amazing journey," Stannard said from New Delhi.
    "I had hoped that I could get back into Super rugby but I didn't think the opportunity would be back in Perth.
    "I'm glad I'm coming back because I still have good friends there and I want to make Perth my home after rugby.
    "Getting the No.9 jumper is where my focus is going to be now. It's up to me to keep working and hopefully I'll get some game time."
    But while Stannard will be chasing the No.9, he could just find himself in another role because the Force have not yet signed a back-up playmaker to former Hurricanes and NZ Maori star Willie Ripia.
    He was heavily involved in directing the Australian Sevens side around the field and when he moved to Perth in 2006 from Brisbane Souths he was a fly-half.
    He was converted to scrum-half only when he was picked for the Force academy.
    He said the Australian side was shattered after the Commonwealth Games 24-17 loss to New Zealand in the final.
    "We were pretty down because we had worked so hard and it was so close, but I guess you shouldn't be too disappointed with a silver," he said.
    After Stannard left the Force he joined the Brumbies. While there the Australia Sevens squad called for players to act as opposition in training.
    Stannard got on his bike and pedalled to a session - and a few weeks later was on a plane after a call- up to the international squad.
    Since then he has become one of the best exponents of the shortened game. His 70 points from four tries and 25 conversions at the Games came on the back of 269 points from 15 tries and 97 conversions in six IRB tournaments during the 2009-10 season.

    http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/spo...ighs-and-lows/

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  2. #2
    Legend Contributor Thequeerone's Avatar
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    Gosh he is humble - really glad he is coming back

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    61 years between Grand Slams Was the wait worth it - Ya betta baby

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    Immortal GIGS20's Avatar
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    After seeing him play the sevens, he'd make a pretty decent backup flyhalf. Not sure how the congestion will affect him, but he sure knows how to exploit midfield gaps!

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    C'mon the

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