This is the South African quartet that has helped put Queanbeyan on the verge of ending its grand final drought. But if Whites coach Adam Fahey has his way, he won’t see them again next season.
- Date August 31, 2013
- Jon Tuxworth
Sports reporter at The Canberra Times
Nineteen-year-old twin centres Altus and HP Momsen, loosehead prop JP Smith and back rower Marco Kotze wound up in Queanbeyan through help from ACT Brumbies coach Jake White.
All four have been invited to the Brumbies’ pre-season training in October, and are key planks in Queanbeyan’s John I Dent Cup premiership charge.
On Saturday, Queanbeyan will vie for its first grand final appearance since its 2010 premiership in the preliminary final against Royals at Viking Park.
”I’d like to say yes [they’ll play for us next year] but they’re chasing their dream of playing at the highest level possible and we support that 100 per cent,” Fahey said. ”We’ll do everything we can to help them become professional rugby players.
”They’ve brought a good mix to our club, the serious nature of the way they approach their rugby and their South African sense of humour off it, which is unique at times.”
Western Force is increasingly looking to South Africa for talent to avoid bidding wars with sides on Australia’s east coast.
Fahey said the huge playing depth and multi-layer path to the top in their homeland makes Australia an attractive option for South Africans. ”They’re playing outside [Queanbeyan star] Robbie Coleman, a Super Rugby player at the Brumbies, and within three months they’ll potentially start training with the elite squad. That’s unheard of in South Africa – you have to go through three or four different levels to get looked at.
”We asked Jake if he knew of any quality players in positions we wanted to strengthen, and the ones who came here have paid off.”
HP Momsen admitted the South Africans were enjoying the more attacking style prevalent in Australia. ”Back home it’s more physical; we find there’s more running rugby here,” he said. ”It’s good for us, you can play with a bit more flair.
”In South Africa we had scholarship opportunities with the Sharks and Cheetahs, but they have 150 players in their squads and it’s more difficult to get into a Super Rugby team there.
”We want to play Super Rugby one day and it would be great if we can get into the Brumbies’ system.”