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Scott’s haul of Fame a difficult decision

Written By malwan milad on Sabtu, 13 Desember 2014 | 23.52

Is it too early for Adam Scott to be an inaugural inductee of the Australian golf Hall of Fame? Source: Bradley Kanaris / Getty Images

A HALL of Fame project to ride the high-flying mood in Australian golf is to be launched and the most intriguing question is whether Adam Scott should be one of the celebrated inaugural inductees.

By the standard of the Hall of Fame initiatives in the football codes players must be 10 years retired before being considered for inclusion in a formal pantheon of greats of their game. Such criteria are an awkward fit when applied to golf such are the lengthy career spans of the finest players.

It is only six years since former world No. 1 Greg Norman was the halfway leader of the British Open in 2008 when only playing part-time at 53 and he was still teeing it up at the Australian PGA for a final time just two years ago.

Scott's potential inclusion is sure to cause plenty of debate. Source: Getty Images

Scott is just 34 and mid-­career. He might win two, three or more majors over the next decade but our only US Masters champion in 80 years has already put a flag at the top of that peak like no other Aussie.

"It's high time Australian golf had a Hall of Fame to honour the game's great achievers. There have been discussions with the Australian Golf Industry Council and obviously the criteria are an important part of a worthy project," PGA of Australasia chief executive Brian Thorburn said.

Should Adam Scott be an inaugural inductee in the Australian golf Hall of Fame?

World No. 3 Scott has won more tournaments in the US (11) than any Australian golfer of this century, won more than 20 worldwide and will chase his fifth big trophy on home soil on Sunday in a riveting Australian PGA finale on the Gold Coast.

Golfing icons Norman and Peter Thomson would be assured of recognition in any Hall of Fame opening as would seven-time major winner Karrie Webb as the flagbearer of women's golf.

Greg Norman would be first choice for most Australian fans Source: AP

That's where it becomes ­deliciously tricky.

Should there just be an elite three-ball inducted initially or perhaps five to embrace ­trailblazers like Norman von Nida, Kel Nagle, David ­Graham and others?

Is Scott's mark on the game still in its infancy regardless of the landmarks he has already achieved?

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The near-death that stopped our next Cadel

Former professional cyclist will walker now works to raise the profile of heart disease prevention. Source: Janine Eastgate / News Corp Australia

WILL Walker was riding so well in the road race at the national cycling championships last January that he liked his chances of finishing in the first three — until he nearly died halfway through the race.

He hasn't been on a bike since because his heart might not stand the strain.

And since that dramatic day in Buninyong, near Ballarat, he has almost died several more times, including a horrific experience recently when the temperamental ticker tried to shut down nine times in 40 minutes.

It was "the deepest, darkest place I have ever been — you couldn't be any closer to death". For an immensely talented young athlete who was told by an international expert he had the "motor" to be as good as Cadel Evans, life has taken a dangerous turn.

But at least Walker is alive — even if he sleeps with the lights on because he is terrified he might not wake up.

William Walker hasn't been back on a bike since his illness nearly killed him. Source: News Limited

Walker, 28, is now devoting his time to helping lower the death toll from heart disease in men, which runs at 40,000 a year.

"It hurts a bit," he said of the lost chance at sporting glory. "But I have enough years left to do something so significant that it doesn't hurt you not being a cycling champion. I know it's a cliche, but I want to make a difference."

Walker has accepted a job at the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, an international medical research facility in Melbourne.

He is using his network in cycling and other sports to raise the profile of heart disease prevention, much in the way that breast and prostate cancer fighters have been able to do through sporting identities such as Olympic athlete Raelene Boyle and the late Robert Flower, the AFL star who died of heart disease at 59.

Walker has a combination of arrhythmia, which involves an irregular beat, and tachycardia, which makes the heart beat faster than normal but pumps less blood around the body. It has twice destroyed a cycling career that could have been anything.

Will Walker was a rising star in world cycling. Source: News Limited

At 19, he won the Australian championship and a silver medal at the under-23 world championships. His potential was so obvious the big Dutch pro team Rabobank snapped him up, giving him rides in the Italian Giro and the Spanish Vuelta grand tours.

The world was at his feet and the biggest race of all, the Tour de France, was only a matter of time.

Doctors suspect lightly built Walker might have taken on too much too soon with the two three-week races. When his form mysteriously declined his heart condition was diagnosed.

No fewer than five operations followed, the last in 2010, with no guarantee of a full recovery, although there was no suggestion that his life was in peril. With little option but to retire, he spent time working with GreenEDGE, which made him realise he was miss competition.

He convinced doctors to approve a comeback which looked on track when he unleashed a highly impressive ride to finish a close second in a stage of the 2013 Herald Sun Tour, riding for prominent local team Drapac.

Walker's career ended as a result of a combination of heart conditions. Source: News Limited

"I needed to try cycling again. I wasn't ready to give it up. I was watching these guys and thinking, 'That was me'. I had this burning desire," he said at the time.

"But I'm healthy now and feeling good about being back on this side of the fence."

The feeling lasted 12 months.

In Buninyong, by now riding for a team from Azerbaijan, he was among 17 riders who broke away from the peloton and was feeling good to go on with it.

But on the mountain that defines the championship course, his bike computer showed his heart was racing at 270 beats a minute, three or four times faster than normal.

He thought he was having a heart attack and would die on the spot. By the time an ambulance got to him, he had so little blood going to his brain he could not think or talk coherently and relied on onlookers to tell paramedics what had happened.

Walker looked set for a long and successful cycling career. Source: News Limited

Soon after, he had another operation to insert a defibrillator, a device that monitors the heartbeat and if it cannot control it within eight seconds of it becoming irregular, he is hit with a massive and very unpleasant shock.

"Without it, I would have been dead several times this year," he said.

The most recent near-disaster happened at home as he was setting out for a stroll.

The defibrillator hit with full force. He swallowed every pill he had and got his brother to rush him to hospital, where the tiny machine went off eight more times.

Asked whether he fears for the future, Walker said: "I have a lot of anxiety, especially going to bed. There are a few sleepless nights, sleeping with the lights on. I try to read until as late as possible so I fall asleep from exhaustion."

Walker holds a degree in finance but has become so knowledgeable about and fascinated by the heart that he has ambitions of becoming a medico himself.

Meanwhile, his priority is to highlight the need for men — and women — to get tested regularly, live healthily and eat properly.

"Right now, I feel pretty good. My heart rate is perfect and it looks positive for the future," he said.

Smiling wryly, he adds: "But I've said that before."

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Pearson pushing to get back to best

World champion hurdler Sally Pearson has been working hard to get back to her best. Source: Luke Marsden / News Corp Australia

OLYMPIC champion Sally Pearson is breaking new ground, and equipment, in her bid to again be the world's fastest hurdler.

Barely six months after frail hamstrings almost ruined her Commonwealth title defence, the little Queenslander is achieving feats in the gym she never thought possible.

They include unleashing the explosive energy in her powerful glutes to snap the cable on the hip extension machine during a weights session last week.

"I'm really healthy, and running the fastest I've ever run (in training)," Pearson said while signing autographs at the Little Athletics State Relay Championships in Brisbane.

"I can't wait to see what I can run this season."

World champion hurdler Sally Pearson says she running faster than ever in training. Source: News Corp Australia

The Olympic and Commonwealth 100m hurdles gold medallist can no longer claim to be world no. 1 after being toppled by American Brianna Rollins in 2013.

But there is realistic hope she can return to the top.

For the first time in years her back and hamstrings can withstand squats, an exercise in which she has improved her personal best lift by more than 30 per cent.

Injury free and happy, Pearson and new coach Ash Mahoney are 13 weeks into a new partnership which began after the resignation of former mentor and training partner Antony Drinkwater-Newman.

Sally Pearson is confident she has the strength to get back to the top. Source: AP

In his first interview since taking the job, Mahoney said he was inspired and deeply motivated by the challenge of guiding Pearson towards the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

A coach, podiatrist and expert in lower limb injuries, Mahoney has been a consultant to the hurdler since she stormed into the national team more than a decade ago.

The father of two and former hurdler is a track and field junky who is in awe of his athlete's professionalism and ability to will herself beyond the point of exhaustion.

Every week he gains a close-up view of the 28-year-old as she endures lactic acid levels that would floor mere mortals, only to haul herself off the ground for one more set.

"You'd expect that from an Olympic champion," Mahoney said.

"But witnessing that day after day after day, that's one of the great things that's struck me — her dedication to do the hard yards."

Sally Pearson is injury free and pushing to get abck to her best. Source: News Corp Australia

Mahoney expects the 2016 Olympic title to be won in under 12.3secs.

Pearson has not been in that shape since clocking 12.28 in her world titles final win in 2011.

She boasts an impeccable technique but will use the next 18 months to build a bigger engine and fly even faster between the hurdles.

"She's certainly getting stronger," Mahoney said.

"We're trying to build her capacity to improve in every element so that she can train harder.

"Ultimately it's a game of physics. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction

"So if you can develop the ability to better apply that force, it augurs well for Sally."

Pearson will focus on the 100m and 200m this domestic season when her bullet-paced rivalry with national 100m record holder Melissa Breen is expected to intensify.

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Brisbane derby on cards in A-League shake-up

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THE success of A-League derbys in Sydney and Melbourne has Brisbane as a likely destination for a second Queensland team when the competition expands.

Football Federation Australia chief executive David Gallop told The Sunday Mail that come the next A-League broadcast deal — set for 2017 — expansion was likely, with a 12-team competition expected.

While Gallop would not commit to a second Queensland team, and more specifically a Brisbane-based rival for the Roar, he is a huge fan of derbys and wants more in future seasons.

"There's no question that the Melbourne and Sydney derby games have driven so much of the boom in the A-League's crowds, TV ratings, membership and digital audiences," he said.

"These matches showcase one of our key advantages over all the other footy brands — the atmosphere created by passionate fans.

Brisbane could host another A-League team when the competition expands. Source: News Corp Australia

"This season we've seen new crowd and ratings records in derby matches. The fans can't get enough of the rivalries and for many new fans it takes just one derby experience to become hooked.

"With this in mind, it's natural that a Brisbane derby would be a logical addition to the A-League."

Counting against a second Queensland team being based on the Gold Coast, Townsville or Cairns are the failures of the North Queensland Fury and Gold Coast United.

The Townsville-based Fury lasted only two seasons, while not even the millions of Clive Palmer could ensure a long-term future for United, who were canned after three years.

Gallop, who was not with FFA during the existence of United and Fury, was hardly surprised they failed considering the population of their base cities.

Townsville last year had an estimated population of 190,000, while the Gold Coast-Tweed Heads' population was slightly more than 600,000.

"My rule of thumb is that expansion should only occur in markets where there are populations in the millions, not hundreds of thousands," he said.

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"We need to fish where the fish are, and the big cities are full of football fans and players.

"There are some very promising football markets in several Australian cities, including Brisbane, but no decision has been taken about the priority.

"An expansion club needs more than just a derby.

"It will come down to broad community support and the fundamental investment decisions."

Miron Bleiberg, the foundation coach of both the Roar and Gold Coast United, believed a second Queensland team should be based in Brisbane.

"And that's not to take anything away from the Roar," he said.

"On the contrary, it's to stimulate the interest in football in Brisbane, like it has in Sydney and Melbourne."

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Gallop said FFA was pleased with the "continued growth in all metrics for Brisbane Roar".

"Under the leadership of (chairman) Chris Fong and (managing director) Sean Dobson, the Roar have done a fantastic job in engaging with their community and local business," he said.

"There's no doubt the brand of Brisbane Roar has grown hugely as a result.

"Over the past three years, crowds, TV ratings and digital audiences have grown consistently in Brisbane.

"It's one of the key markets in our overall boom.

"The membership growth is phenomenal, more than 50 per cent up on last year and now more than 11,000, a Roar club record.

"Half of our clubs are either profitable or near break-even, which is a rare achievement in the Australian sports landscape.

"We have more work ... but the next broadcast deal should provide an environment for the expansion issue to come back into the strategic plan."

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Roar evolution will require patience

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HAVING said goodbye to Matt Smith, Brisbane Roar are deeply entrenched in an era of evolution that will require "patience" from supporters accustomed to A-League success.

Smith farewelled his Roar teammates on Saturday morning after making a final appearance off the bench in Brisbane's upset 1-0 win over Adelaide United at Coopers Stadium on Friday night.

On Monday, the now former Roar skipper will leave for Thailand to link with his new club Bangkok Glass.

Smith's departure continues the winds of change at the Roar so soon after winning the A-League title in May.

Of the team that started in the 2-1 grand final win over Western Sydney Wanderers, just four players — Jade North, Luke Brattan, Matt McKay and Dimitri Petratos — were in the starting 11 on Friday against the Reds.

Throw in the sacking of title-winning coach Mike Mulvey, the appointment of interim boss Frans Thijssen, and the injuries to a host of players, including key pair Thomas Broich and Michael Theo, and it has been a tumultuous period for the three-time A-League champions.

"It's a transition phase we're going through so it's going to take a bit of time," Roar football director Ken Stead said.

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"We're going to need a little bit of patience but I do believe we're on the right track."

Stead was proud of the Roar's gritty effort to hand Adelaide their first home defeat of the season.

"The guys will get confidence from that, and we'll get stronger — I've got no doubt about it," he said.

"We've had a lot of senior players missing from the group, and a lot of young guys have come in and done well, but they'll need time to adjust.

"The main thing for me is anybody that comes in to stand up and be counted. We have got guys who are doing that."

Stead was hopeful that Henrique, who scored a cracker against the Reds to secure Brisbane just their third win of the season, would be fit for the Roar's next clash — a December 27 date with the Central Coast Mariners in Gosford.

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The Brazilian was forced off with a knee injury before half-time on Friday night after being on the receiving end of a harsh challenge from Adelaide defender Dylan McGowan.

"We'll have a good look at him when we go home. He's probably got a low strain injury on the lateral side of his knee," Stead said.

"I don't think it's anything too serious but it's something that will need a bit of treatment over a few days. He won't be training for the first part of the week — that's for sure."

Meanwhile, the Roar yesterday discovered who their Japanese opponents would be in next year's AFC Champions League group stage.

Gamba Osaka's 3-1 Emperor's Cup win over Montedio Yamagata means that J-League runners up Urawa Red Diamonds will be in the Roar's group.

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Detroit Lions ‘show interest in Hayne’

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JARRYD Hayne's tour of NFL clubs has continued, with the former Parramatta NRL star reportedly visiting the Detroit Lions.

Hayne had meetings with the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers earlier in the week.

The Lions, Seahawks and 49ers are all viewed as great fits for the rugby league convert as they are teams that like to experiment, unlike other NFL clubs that have a more traditional approach to recruiting.

Jarryd Hayne arriving at LAX as he looks to convert to NFL. Source: News Corp Australia

The Lions signed Rugby union and US track star Carlin Isles last season and Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll was one of the great innovators of college football during his time with the University of southern California and continued that when he moved to Seattle in 2010.

US website National Football Post, which first reported Hayne's visit to Seattle and San Francisco, citing an NFL source, also broke the news Hayne was in Detroit.

Jarryd Hayne playing for NSW. Source: Getty Images

Former USC and current Lions running back Reggie Bush was full of praise for Hayne during an Australian promotional tour last year.

"He's quick, he's elusive, he's powerful, he's fast, he has great vision and those are all the things you need to play running back in the NFL," Bush said at the time.

Reggie Bush and Jarryd Hayne. Picture: YouTube. Source: Supplied

The 26-year-old 189cm tall, 100kg Hayne has said he would like to play as a punt returner and wide receiver, but NFL scouts and veterans who have seen his show reels on YouTube say a team could identify him as either an offensive or defensive player.

Former Parramatta star Hayne could play an offensive position like running back, wide receiver or punt returner or as a defensive wrecking ball as an outside linebacker, scouts said.

Hayne, who made the shock decision in October he was quitting the NRL, has signed US agent Jack Bechta to represent him.

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Germans oust Aussie champions

Germany hockey players celebrate a goal against Australia. Source: PRAKASH SINGH / AFP

OLYMPIC gold medallists Germany quashed Australia's bid to win a sixth successive Champions Trophy hockey title, ousting the Kookaburras 3-2 in the semi-finals.

The Germans, playing with seven junior World Cup winners of 2013, stunned Australia with two goals by the ninth minute through Timur Oruz and Mats Grambusch.

They went up 3-0 immediately after half-time when Florian Fuchs took advantage of a goalmouth scramble and scooped the ball past goalkeeper Andrew Charter.

Australia hit back in the 34th minute as Chris Ciriello banged in a penalty corner to net his fourth goal in the tournament. Nicholas Budgeon narrowed the margin further in the 42nd by scoring off a penalty corner rebound.

Germany's captain Moritz Furste celebrates after his team scored a goal during the Champions Trophy field hockey semi-final match against Australia. Source: AP

The Kookaburras, who lost to Germany 4-2 the last time they met in the semi-finals of the 2012 London Olympics, failed to equalise despite benching the goalkeeper to accommodate an extra striker.

Australia had been forced to try out new combinations at the tournament in the absence of four first-choice players, including star forward Jamie Dwyer.

Germany will meet the winner of Saturday night's second semi-final between India and Pakistan in the title clash on Sunday.

It will be Germany's first Champions Trophy final since 2009 when they were beaten by Australia 5-3 in Melbourne.

Germany's Florian Fuchs, right, celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal during the Champions Trophy field hockey semi-final match against Australia. Source: AP

German coach Markus Weise said he was happy — and also relieved — that his young side had reached the final after a poor sixth-place finish at the World Cup in June.

"It is a very good thing to happen to the boys, they have proved themselves against the best," Weise said.

"We were lucky to be 3-0 ahead because the second-half belonged entirely to Australia. I am glad the boys fought it out till the end."

Weise, asked whether he wanted to face India or Pakistan in the final, said he would prefer that his team takes on the hosts.

"At home we play in a silent stadium with not more than 500 people watching," he said.

"But here we have 7,000 screaming fans making a lot of noise. It will be a good experience for the boys."

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Genia proves he’s a Wallaby

Written By malwan milad on Sabtu, 18 Oktober 2014 | 23.52

Will Genia of the Wallabies is tackled by team mate Israel Folau during an Australian Wallabies training session in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Picture: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images Source: Cameron Spencer / Getty Images

WILL Genia has made his case for inclusion in the Wallabies squad that will travel to Europe next week with a strong 40-minute performance in Brisbane City's 37-16 win over the Canberra Vikings in the National Rugby Championship (NRC).

Genia kicked well from the base of the ruck, delivered crisp passes and found himself on the end of a sweeping City movement which sealed victory and third place in the championship.

Brisbane City will travel to face the second-placed NSW Country Eagles on Friday night in the semi-finals, after the Eagles' tight 40-34 win over the Perth Spirit in Dubbo.

The Eagles led 24-8 at half-time and 40-18 inside the final quarter but two late tries had the celebrations on hold.

The Melbourne Rising earned hosting rights with their 47-26 win over Queensland Country at AAMI Park.

The undefeated Melbourne outfit again looked a class above in the 21-point win, as they outpaced, outmuscled and outworked a surprisingly resilient Country side.

The Rising led 34-13 with 30 minutes to play and seemingly cruised through the second term, making it eight wins from eight starts in 2014.

Will Genia and Wallaby team mates arrive at Mendoza Airport on October 1, 2014. Picture: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images Source: Getty Images

Melbourne will face Perth at AAMI Park on Saturday night and will be heavy favourites against a Spirit side who will not bring their Western Force representatives on the road — a policy they have adopted all season.

On Thursday night, the Sydney Stars broke their season-long drought with a 49-40 win over the North Harbour Rays.

The nine-point margin was aided by rugby's first "own try" when Rays prop Mitch Lewis grounded the ball over his own line and the Stars were awarded a try in bizarre circumstances.

The Stars' only win of the season means each team finishes the inaugural NRC campaign with at least one victory.

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Detroit Lions offer Hayne trial deal

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THE battle for Jarryd Hayne's signature is on.

What began as a pipe dream for Hayne of playing grid iron is closer to reality than ever with six NFL clubs chasing the NRL star, including the Detroit Lions after a personal recommendation from superstar Reggie Bush.

Bush, one of the NFL's most recognised running backs whose current deal with Detroit is worth $16 million, has paved the way for Hayne to earn a prized contract in the US.




It's believed the Detroit Lions have offered Jarryd Hayne a train-and-trial deal. Source: AFP

On the back of Bush's glowing appraisal of Hayne, the former Parramatta Eels ace has been offered a train-and-trial deal with NFL heavyweights Detroit.

How much the deal is worth remains a closely guarded secret by Hayne and his management.

Bush, the one-time boyfriend of TV celebrity Kim Kardashian, met Hayne for the first time during a promotional trip to Australia in June, staying in Sydney to watch the NSW fullback help clinch the State of Origin series with the Blues at ANZ Stadium.

Bush said during his visit that Hayne could play in the NFL immediately if he ever chose to switch sports.

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"He actually looks like an NFL running back,'' Bush said. "Looks like he could come play with us tomorrow.

"He's fast, strong and ... wow. Look at that hit. That's an NFL football hit. I like this guy."

The relationship between Hayne and Bush has continued to develop over the past four months, with their bond resulting in an email offer from the Detroit Lions management landing in the inbox of Hayne's long-standing agent Wayne Beavis just 48-hours after the Eels fullback declared he was quitting the NRL on Wednesday.

Such has been the interest in Hayne from US scouts that Beavis has remained awake until 3am to field emails ever since his client dropped rugby league's biggest bombshell of the year.

Jarryd Hayne and Reggie Bush, at Allianz Stadium. Source: Supplied

While the five other clubs interested in giving Hayne his shot of a lifetime remain unconfirmed, Superbowl champions the Seattle Seahawks, whom Hayne met in person three weeks ago when he visited their training facilities as part of a study tour in the US, are also believed to be one of the organisations interested in providing the 26-year-old with a chance to fulfil his dream.

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll described Hayne as "an incredible athlete" but remained coy when quizzed by reporters last Thursday about the prospect of the Australian landing a trial opportunity with Seattle.

"Our scout Down Under has been on this for some time now," Carroll said. "But he's an incredible athlete and a great competitor, so we'll see where it goes.

"I'm afraid to mention anything because I'm not sure of the rights things and contract issues down there.

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"We'll leave that up to [Seahawks general manager John Schneider] to figure out."

Adding to the intrigue was a move that shocked the NFL yesterday, Seahawks explosive receiver and return man Percy Harvin, a position which Hayne will attempt to make his own, was traded to the New York Jets.

Hayne will fly to the US tonight, jetting into Los Angeles, where he'll spend the next month transforming his body shape and developing his speed while assessing his options.

Hayne has given himself a timeline of 12-months to decide if his bid to make it in the NFL is possible.

Beavis said his advice to Hayne was to be patient and resist rushing into a decision on which club or clubs he should join.

"I've told Jarryd to take a breath and consider his options, with the focus on choosing a club that will allow him to work with the right coaches, who will enable him the best chance to succeed," Beavis said.

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These kids are not Test Bunnies

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KANGAROO rookies Dylan Walker and Alex Johnston have smashed another 40-year hoodoo, becoming the first South Sydney juniors to be selected for Australia out of the club's Redfern headquarters since George Piggins in 1975.

In a wonderful twist to the South Sydney premiership triumph, no South Sydney junior has represented the Kangaroos while contracted to the Bunnies since cardinal and myrtle patriarch Piggins.


Kangaroo Rookies, Alex Johnston and Dylan Walker at Red Hill. Pic Annette Dew Source: News Limited

Sure, Souths juniors like Ian Roberts, Terry Hill, Jim Dymock, Craig Wing and Craig Salvatori all proudly represented Australia, but they all did so while playing for rival NRL clubs.

Next Saturday night, the light-stepping and powerful Walker is expected to make his debut for Australia at right centre against New Zealand in the opening Four Nations Test at Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium.

The Mascot Jets junior is expected to be paired alongside fellow international debutant Josh Mansour, with La Perouse Panthers junior Johnston also competing for a place on the Australian wing.

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"It's been a big two weeks but to be honest I'm just happy and stoked to be in the Australian squad and to get a taste of what it's like to be in one of these camps," Walker said.

"From the time you're little, all you ever dream of is representing so to get an opportunity to experience this I feel very lucky."

The Sydney Roosters pairing of Michael Jennings and Daniel Tupou are expected to be selected on Australia's left edge.

Souths star Walker was initially slated to be selected on the right wing for Australia until Jarryd Hayne's shock defection to chase an NFL contract forced Australian coach Tim Sheens to reshape his backline.

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