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August 4, 2011
CANBERRA fans will get a look
on August 17 at the players who
will carry the ADF's hopes in
the International Defence Rugby
Nine Navy players will get their
chance to push for selection in a
possibles versus probables game.
The trial game will be played
over four 25-minute quarters at
Portsea Oval at the Royal Military
College, from 1.30pm.
After the game, the squad will be
pruned to 35 players and the play-
ers will be announced.
In the lead-up to the interna-
tional competition, ASRU will
play three games: against Victoria
at Kapooka (Wagga Wagga) on
September 10; against Australian
Universities Rugby Union in
Melbourne on September 17; and
against Sydney at Victoria Barracks
in Sydney on September 24.
The squad will then be trimmed
to 27 shortly before the competition.
Star support boosts players
Hopefuls face off in trial game
By Michael Brooke
SOME of the big names from the
Wallabies, NSW Waratahs and the ACT
Brumbies are helping the Australian
Services Rugby Union (ASRU) team
prepare to tackle the giants of rugby
in the inaugural International Defence
Rugby Competition (IDRC).
ASRU kicked off its preparation
with a boot camp at Sydney's Randwick
Barracks from July 20-21, where the team
worked on its game plan with the help of
Wallabies, Waratahs and Brumbies players
ASRU has selected an initial training
squad of 60 players, including more than
10 Navy members.
More than 30 ADF players attended
the camp, which included sessions led by
ACT Brumbies skipper Stephen Hoiles,
Waratahs 'A' coach Mark Giacheri and
former Wallabies and ACT Brumbies five-
eighth David Knox.
Hoiles ran a specialised forwards
session, with a particular focus on tech-
nical aspects associated with defensive
The Brumbies skipper, who has also
been capped 16 times for the Wallabies,
said the ASRU forwards had improved
immensely over the past 12 months.
"They've really come of age since I
last spent some time with the squad, and
I'm confident they will do really well in
the IDRC," he said.
Head coach CAPT Damien Cahill was
also confident of success.
The team's campaign will begin
against the Tongan Defence Force in
Canberra on October 1, with its next
match against the Chinese People's
Liberation Army at the same venue on
"We'll be well prepared and with our
best players on the field -- barring injury,
work-release issues and deployment -- I
am confident that we will do well," CAPT
The forwards spent considerable time
with Giacheri, who shared his vast experi-
ence and technical knowledge on how to
defend the maul, particularly from lin-
The ASRU backs received skills train-
ing from Knox.
ABATV James Smith, one of Navy's
contenders, said the players were thankful
for the help of Wallaby and Super 14 play-
ers and coaches.
"The skills sessions are invaluable
preparation for the IDRC, which prom-
ises to be played at a really high level,"
Selector WO Geoff Stokes said Navy
had 10 players on the watch-list, with
many of them likely to make the cut.
"Navy did really well in the tri-service
championships this year and the players
we have -- from front-row to fullback -- are
strong contenders for the ASRU team," he
said.The ASRU boot camp also featured a
revisit of the squad's base-line strength
and conditioning program.
CAPT Cahill said the squad's play-
ers impressed the coaching staff during a
series of challenging testing stations.
The players have been undergo-
ing a strength and conditioning program
since March in preparation for the IDRC
SOME GOOD ADVICE: Former Waratahs player Mark Giacheri keeps a close eye over ASRU training
in Sydney and, inset, former Wallabies player David Knox chats with players. Photos: LSIS Brenton Freind
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