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Australian Schools Rugby News : September 2009
Following Eastern Suburbs and Brumbies fy-half, Matt To’omua’s, Rugby career has been a lifelong job for his Hawaiian based missionary parents. Matt played in the Australian Schools team in 2007 which defeated New Zealand Schools at St Joseph’s College Hunter’s Hill. This was the team which had Waratah’s Robert Horne in the backline and new Wallaby James O’Connor on the bench. The family has variously lived and worked in New Zealand, Melbourne, Brisbane and on the mid Pacifc island for as Matt pursued his sporting career from the age of six. “These days they have the internet hooked up to their TV sets in Hawaii so they can see me play in the Super 14,” the 19 year old pivot explained. “Mum and dad have been watching me since I was six. But I think mum has become a bigger fan than ever these days.” During his high school years in Brisbane he had a taste of both league and Rugby: “League teaches you a bit about catch-pass skills and defence, though most of the tackles they just run into you and get up and play the ball. It’s a bit predictable and repetitive.” His rep career blossomed at Brisbane High and he went on to play GPS, Queensland and Australian Schoolboys before getting his frst professional offer in Year 11 and signing with the Brumbies in Year 12. Why the Brumbies and not the Reds? “I could see Berrick Barnes and Quade Cooper ahead of me, and there were changes at the Brumbies with Steve Larkham retiring a few years back,” he says. “And when the Brumbies management approached me they were very professional and I felt valued there. So it’s been great.” His link to Easts in Sydney came through his coaching with former Wallaby fy half Scott Bowen, a former Easts player. “I love Club Rugby up here and I rate it very highly after playing some Super 14. It’s not a walk in the park, by any means. You come up against a number of Super 14 players but also a lot of players not contracted to Super 14 sides who are great footballers,” he added. He’s using the experience to develop parts of his game, notably taking the ball more confdently to the line. “I’ve probably concentrated too much on being a distributor. I’ve got to work on ball in hand attack to improve my all around game.” To’omua has fnished the frst year of a two year contract with the Brumbies and is looking forward to playing with some of the Super 14 side’s acquisitions including Matt Giteau returning in 2010. If he had to look for another position to get some playing time, he says he would consider fullback before having a go at No.12. – Rugby writer John hanrahan MATT TO'OMUA HAwAIIAN BASEd PARENTS PLUG IN TO fOLLOw EASTS ANd BRUMBIES STAR 10 FACt FiLe Name: Matt Toomua Physical: 1.82m, 89kg Born: 02.01.90, Melbourne, Victoria Club: Eastern Suburbs Super Rugby caps: 4 Super Rugby points: 0 Major Rep Honours: Australian Schools (07)
Australian Schools Rugby News October 2009