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Thread: STANIFORTH RETIRES FROM RUGBY

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    STANIFORTH RETIRES FROM RUGBY

    A neck injury has brought a premature end to the playing career of inaugural Emirates Western Force squad member and fan favourite Scott Staniforth.
    Following advice from several medical experts the tough utility back has been forced to call it a day after a 13 year career in which he played 106 Super Rugby matches and represented Australia 12 times, including the 1999 World Cup.

    Staniforth sustained a neck injury while playing against the Lions in Johannesburg in early May, he underwent intensive rehabilitation and returned to the field two months later in the local West Australian KWIK Premier Grade competition.

    The veteran enjoyed some solid hit-outs with Associates but unfortunately sustained further damage to his neck while training with Soaks in August, this time experts recommending he hang up the boots.

    “I guess it’s not the way you want to finish but I feel as though I’ve had a pretty good run at it and been lucky enough to have had a really enjoyable last 13 years,” Staniforth said.

    “I would have loved to have got my 50 games for the Force and still felt I had a few little goals left to achieve.

    “The 1999 World Cup was definitely a highlight and it was great to have been right there during the transformation of the game. I started out playing alongside the likes of Phil Kearns and Tim Horan and finished off with emerging stars in David Pocock and James O’Connor to name a few.

    “I don’t know how I would have felt if there was some grey area in terms of if I could go on or not and I guess when the decision was taken out of my hands by the specialists it brought that closure pretty quickly.”

    Staniforth, who started his career with the Waratahs, was brought back into Super Rugby by the new Emirates Western Force franchise in 2006 from UK side London Irish.

    The move to Perth proved beneficial for both player and club alike as Staniforth lead the Force attack with nine tries, claimed the Player of the Year Award and revived his Wallabies career.

    He holds the record for the most number of tries in a season (nine in 2006), equal first for tries in a game (3 v Cats in 2006) and sits second on the club’s all-time try scoring list with 18 in total.

    “It was a big challenge but great to be there from the start, to be part of something brand new and then to see the club grow over the last five or so years,” he said.

    “The Emirates Western Force fans have been great, there is a great culture, they just love to get in their colours and get right behind the team and that is something that I’ll definitely miss.”

    His skill on-field, combined with his enthusiastic and friendly demeanour off it, ensured he was a hit amongst team mates and members alike.

    After farewelling the club faithful at the end of 2009 he spent a season in Japan but returned following the start of last season where he added another six matches and a few more memorable moments, including a great 60m intercept try against the Tahs in Perth.

    “He’ll be a big loss to the squad in 2011. He is a highly regarded and respected member of the team,” said Head Coach Richard Graham.

    “Certainly from my point of view his experience will be very hard to replace. Anyone that has played more than 100 Super Rugby games and represented the Wallabies has been a strong performer and shown durability over a long time. They’ll be big shoes to fill.

    “Scott took a leap of faith initially to help establish the Emirates Western Force and I think it has been a relationship that has been mutually beneficial. He was able to re-establish himself as a Wallaby through our programme while also helping it to evolve and aid in developing a new crop of Australian players including Pocock, O’Connor, (Ben) McCalman, (Richard) Brown, (Matt) Hodgson and others.”

    Staniforth will maintain a relationship with the club through his role as Marketing Manager at Karma Resorts who are a proud partner of the Emirates Western Force.

    “The injury is slowly improving and feels a lot better than two and a half months ago. I still get pain doing weights or strenuous exercise but the long term prognosis is good,” Staniforth said.

    “I’m looking forward to this next chapter in my life and will go about applying myself just as I did throughout my rugby career.”

    Player Profile
    Name: Scott Staniforth
    Height: 188cm
    Weight: 103kg
    Date of Birth: 12/12/1977
    Super 12/14 Points: 205 (41t)
    Super 12/14 Caps: 106 (45 Emirates Western Force, 61 Waratahs)
    Emirates Western Force Debut: 2006 v Brumbies, Perth
    Test Caps: 12
    Test Points: 35 (7t)
    Test Debut: 1999 v USA, Limerick
    Honours: Wallabies 1999-2002 & 2006-07, Australia A 2001-02 & 2006, Australian U21’s 1997, Australian U19’s 1996, Australian Schoolboys 1995

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