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John Steffensen

John Steffensen

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John William Steffensen (born 30 August 1982) is an Australian former athlete, who specialised in 200 and 400 metres. He won silver at the 2004 Olympics in Athens. His personal bests were 20.79 and 44.73.

Biography

Born in Perth, Western Australia to South African immigrant parents, Steffensen competed in the 2004 Olympics, and was a part of the Australian team that won the silver medal in 4 × 400 metres relay.

Steffensen won the gold medal in the 400 m at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, with a time of 44.73, setting a new personal best.He won a second gold medal as the first runner in the 4 × 400 m Australian relay team at the 2006 Commonwealth Games.

He decided to boycott the 2010 Commonwealth Games after a series of disputes with Athletics Australia, which he accused of mismanaging athletes.
He is an old boy of Trinity College, Perth and Guildford Grammar School, Perth (92-96).

He was runner up to Stephanie Rice in the 2013 Australian version of the television program Celebrity Apprentice.

Sine then, he has been making regular appearances on Nine Network’s Wide World of Sports as a co-host.

Steffensen collaborated with Athletics Australia to develop the Nitro Athletics track and field series, which included variations on the traditional one-day athletics meeting with the intention of widening the sport’s fanbase.

Usain Bolt

Usain Bolt

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Usain St Leo Bolt, OJ, CD (/ˈjuːseɪn/; born 21 August 1986) is a Jamaican sprinter. He is the first person to hold both the 100 metres and 200 metres world records since fully automatic time became mandatory. He also holds the world record as a part of the 4 × 100 metres relay. He is the reigning world and Olympic champion in these three events. Due to his unprecedented dominance and achievements in sprint competition, he is widely considered to be the greatest sprinter of all time.

An eight-time Olympic gold medalist, Bolt won the 100 m, 200 m and 4 × 100 m relay at three consecutive Olympic Games, although he subsequently lost one of the gold medals (as well as the world record set therein) nine years after the fact due to teammate Nesta Carter’s disqualification for doping offences. He gained worldwide popularity for his double sprint victory at the 2008 Beijing Olympics in world record times. Bolt is the only sprinter to win Olympic 100 m and 200 m titles at three consecutive olympics (2008, 2012 and 2016), a feat referred to as the ‘triple double’.

An eleven-time World Champion, he won consecutive World Championship 100 m, 200 m and 4 × 100 metres relay gold medals from 2009 to 2015, with the exception of a 100 m false start in 2011. He is the most successful athlete of the World Championships and was the first athlete to win three titles in both the 100 m and 200 m at the competition.

Bolt improved upon his first 100 m world record of 9.69 with 9.58 seconds in 2009 – the biggest improvement since the start of electronic timing. He has twice broken the 200 metres world record, setting 19.30 in 2008 and 19.19 in 2009. He has helped Jamaica to three 4 × 100 metres relay world records, with the current record being 36.84 seconds set in 2012. Bolt’s most successful event is the 200 m, with three Olympic and four World titles. The 2008 Olympics was his international debut over 100 m; he had earlier won numerous 200 m medals (including 2007 World Championship silver) and holds the world under-20 and world under-18 records for the event.

His achievements in sprinting have earned him the media nickname “Lightning Bolt”, and his awards include the IAAF World Athlete of the Year, Track & Field Athlete of the Year, and Laureus World Sportsman of the Year (three times). Bolt has stated that he intends to retire from athletics after the 2017 World Championships.

Early years

Bolt was born on 21 August 1986 in Sherwood Content,a small town in Trelawny, Jamaica, and grew up with parents Wellesley and Jennifer Bolt, his brother Sadiki, and his sister, Sherine. His parents ran the local grocery store in the rural area, and Bolt spent his time playing cricket and football in the street with his brother, later saying, “When I was young, I didn’t really think about anything other than sports”.

As a child, Bolt attended Waldensia Primary, where he first began to show his sprinting potential, running in the annual national primary-schools’ meeting for his parish.By the age of twelve, Bolt had become the school’s fastest runner over the 100 metres distance.

Upon his entry to William Knibb Memorial High School, Bolt continued to focus on other sports, but his cricket coach noticed Bolt’s speed on the pitch and urged him to try track and field events. Pablo McNeil, a former Olympic sprint athlete, and Dwayne Jarrett coached Bolt, encouraging him to focus his energy on improving his athletic abilities. The school had a history of success in athletics with past students, including sprinter Michael Green.Bolt won his first annual high school championships medal in 2001, taking the silver medal in the 200 metres with a time of 22.04 seconds.McNeil soon became his primary coach, and the two enjoyed a positive partnership, although McNeil was occasionally frustrated by Bolt’s lack of dedication to his training and his penchant for practical jokes.

Early competitions

Performing for Jamaica in his first Caribbean regional event, Bolt clocked a personal best of 48.28 s in the 400 metres in the 2001 CARIFTA Games, winning a silver medal. The 200 m also yielded a silver, as Bolt finished in 21.81 s.

He made his first appearance on the world stage at the 2001 IAAF World Youth Championships in Debrecen, Hungary. Running in the 200 m event, he failed to qualify for the finals, but he still set a new personal best of 21.73 s. Bolt still did not take athletics or himself too seriously, however, and he took his mischievousness to new heights by hiding in the back of a van when he was supposed to be preparing for the 200 m finals at the CARIFTA Trials. He was detained by the police for his practical joke, and there was an outcry from the local community, which blamed coach McNeil for the incident. However, the controversy subsided, and both McNeil and Bolt went to the CARIFTA Games, where Bolt set championship records in the 200 m and 400 m with times of 21.12 s and 47.33 s, respectively. He continued to set records with 20.61 s and 47.12 s finishes at the Central American and Caribbean Junior Championships.

Bolt is one of only nine athletes (along with Valerie Adams, Veronica Campbell-Brown, Jacques Freitag, Yelena Isinbayeva, Jana Pittman, Dani Samuels, David Storl, and Kirani James) to win world championships at the youth, junior, and senior level of an athletic event. Former Prime Minister P. J. Patterson recognised Bolt’s talent and arranged for him to move to Kingston, along with Jermaine Gonzales, so he could train with the Jamaica Amateur Athletic Association (JAAA) at the University of Technology, Jamaica.

Rise to prominence

The 2002 World Junior Championships were held before a home crowd in Kingston, Jamaica, and gave Bolt a chance to prove his credentials on the world stage. By the age of 15, he had grown to 1.96 metres (6 ft 5 in) tall, and he physically stood out among his peers.He won the 200 m, in a time of 20.61 s, 0.03 s slower than his personal best of 20.58 s, set in the 1st round. Bolt’s 200 m win made him the youngest world-junior gold medallist ever. The expectation from the home crowd had made him so nervous that he had put his shoes on the wrong feet. However, it turned out to be a revelatory experience for Bolt, as he vowed never again to let himself be affected by pre-race nerves. As a member of the Jamaican sprint relay team, he also took two silver medals and set national junior records in the 4×100 metres and 4×400 metres relay, running times of 39.15 s and 3:04.06 minutes respectively.

The flow of medals continued as he won four gold medals at the 2003 CARIFTA Games and was awarded the Austin Sealy Trophy for the most outstanding athlete of the games. He won another gold at the 2003 World Youth Championships. He set a new championship record in the 200 m with a time of 20.40 s, despite a 1.1 m/s head wind. Michael Johnson, the 200 m world-record holder, took note of Bolt’s potential but worried that the young sprinter might be over-pressured, stating, “It’s all about what he does three, four, five years down the line”. Bolt had also impressed the athletics hierarchy, and he received the IAAF Rising Star Award for 2002.

In his final Jamaican High School Championships, in 2003, he broke both the 200 m and 400 m records with times of 20.25 s and 45.35 s, respectively. Bolt’s runs were a significant improvement upon the previous records, beating the 200 m best by more than half a second and the 400 m record by almost a second.While Bolt improved upon the 200 m time three months later, setting the still-standing World youth best at the 2003 Pan American Junior Championships, it remains the No. 2 youth time. The 400 m time remains No. 6 on the all-time youth list, surpassed only once since, by future Olympic champion Kirani James.

Bolt turned his main focus to the 200 m and equalled Roy Martin’s world junior record of 20.13 s at the Pan-American Junior Championships. This performance attracted interest from the press, and his times in the 200 m and 400 m led to him being touted as a possible successor to Johnson. Indeed, at sixteen years old, Bolt had reached times that Johnson did not register until he was twenty, and Bolt’s 200 m time was superior to Maurice Greene’s season’s best that year.

Bolt was growing more popular in his homeland. Howard Hamilton, who was given the task of Public Defender by the government, urged the JAAA to nurture him and prevent burnout, calling Bolt “the most phenomenal sprinter ever produced by this island”. His popularity and the attractions of the capital city were beginning to be a burden to the young sprinter. Bolt was increasingly unfocused on his athletic career and preferred to eat fast food, play basketball, and party in Kingston’s club scene. In the absence of a disciplined lifestyle, he became ever-more reliant on his natural ability to beat his competitors on the track.

As the reigning 200 m champion at both the World Youth and World Junior championships, Bolt hoped to take a clean sweep of the world 200 m championships in the Senior World Championships in Paris.He beat all comers at the 200 m in the World Championship trials. Bolt was pragmatic about his chances and noted that, even if he did not make the final, he would consider setting a personal best a success. However, he suffered a bout of conjunctivitis before the event, and it ruined his training schedule.Realising that he would not be in peak condition, the JAAA refused to let him participate in the finals, on the grounds that he was too young and inexperienced. Bolt was dismayed at missing out on the opportunity, but focused on getting himself in shape to gain a place on the Jamaican Olympic team instead. Even though he missed the World Championships, Bolt was awarded the IAAF Rising Star Award for the 2003 season on the strength of his junior record-equalling run.

Joel Parkinson

Joel Parkinson

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Joel Parkinson (born April 10, 1981) is an Australian surfer who competes on the ASP (Association Of Surfing Professionals) World Tour. After twelve years competing at the elite level on the ASP World Championship Tour, a stretch that saw him win eleven elite ASP World Title Events, plus nine additional ASP tour events, and achieve runner-up second place to the ASP World Title four times, Parkinson won the ASP World Championship Tour Surfing Title on 14 December 2012 in Hawaii at the Banzai Pipeline during the ASP World Tours’ final event for 2012–the Billabong Pipeline Masters. Parkinson hung on in a back and forth battle with eleven-time ASP World Title holder, Kelly Slater, to get his first World Title, as well as go on to win the Pipeline Masters, only after Slater lost his semi-final heat to Josh Kerr, of Queensland, Australia. Parkinson beat Kerr in the finals of the event, which was his seventh top-five placing for the year, and his first event title win for 2012.

Early life

Known as Parko, he was born in Nambour, Queensland and grew up on Queensland’s Gold Coast with fellow surfer Mick Fanning. He started surfing as a child, with his father’s board, then he started competing with his friends Dean Morrison and, especially, Mick Fanning. He and Fanning both attended Palm Beach Currumbin State High School together. Parkinson, Fanning and Morrison became known as “The Coolangatta Kids” and it was in these formative years that he developed his own style while also winning the ASP World Junior Championship.

He became the youngest surfer to win a Billabong Contest, a world event.

In 2004, 2009 and 2011 he classified as number 2, making his own record.

A highly successful competitive surfer, Parkinson has won eleven elite ASP tour victories including the prestigious Pipeline Masters in December 2012 Sherry Singh .

Another career highlight came for Parkinson during a December 2008 Pipeline Masters third-round heat in Hawaii when he matched Kelly Slater’s 2005 record of two perfect 10-point rides under the world tour’s two-best-waves scoring system. Parkinson went on to win the Triple Crown of Surfing for 2008 and then again in 2009 and 2010.

In July 2009, while in Jeffreys Bay, South Africa Parkinson launched his new official website ‘joelparko.com’.

His sponsor is Billabong with its accessories like Von Zipper eyeglasses and Kustom footwear. He uses JS Industries surfboards.

When the waves aren’t high enough, Parkinson likes to fish and to watch his favourite football team matches. He also loves cars. He has recently made a biographic video, “Free As A Dog”.

Reni Maitua

Reni Maitua

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Reni Maitua (born 11 June 1982 in Sydney, New South Wales) is an Australian professional rugby league footballer with the Leigh Centurions in the English Championship. An Australian and Samoan International representative player, he previously played for the Bulldogs RLFC, with whom he won the 2004 premiership. Maitua’s position over time has varied between utility forward, backrow, loose forward, centre and he can also play half-back.

Early life

Reni Maitua attended Daceyville Public School.Reni Maitua started playing rugby league as a youngster from the encouragement of his parents, playing for both the Coogee Randwick Wombats and Kensington United as well as brief stints at La Perouse United and the Maroubra Lions. Maitua then played for South Sydney Juniors which form part of the South Sydney Rabbitohs. Maitua is the son of a Samoan father and an Australian mother.

Rugby league career

2002-2008: Signing with the Bulldogs

Maitua signed with Sydney’s Bulldogs club in 2002 but did not make his National Rugby League début until Round 1 of the 2004 NRL season against the Parramatta Eels on 13 March. Maitua played for the Bulldogs’ from the interchange bench in their 2004 NRL grand final victory over cross-town rivals, the Sydney Roosters. As 2004 NRL premiers, the Bulldogs faced Super League IX champions, the Leeds Rhinos in the 2005 World Club Challenge. Maitua played at second-row forward in the Bulldogs’ 32-39 loss. In season 2005, Maitua had an up and down season, suffering an ankle injury in the trial game against South Sydney Rabbitohs missing up to six games. His return showed he was in good form and was then named in the City Origin squad. But during that game he also suffered another ankle injury which made him sit on the sidelines for nearly half the competition. Maitua had been selected in the Prime Minister’s XIII side to take on Papua New Guinea national rugby league team.

On 27 April 2006, it was revealed that Maitua had been charged with drink driving. The Bulldogs fined Maitua $15,000 over the incident as well as dropping him to Premier League for one week. Maitua was also required to attend an alcohol awareness program and to participate in a community service program. He was also needed to appear in Sutherland Local Court on 18 May where a plea of guilty was entered on his behalf. He will be required to make a personal appearance for sentencing on 3 August. In the meantime, his licence is suspended and the court was told that Maitua will complete a traffic offenders education program before his sentencing. But his sentencing was postponed till 17 August because complications arose as Reni’s lawyer advised him not to attend the court appearance on 3 August. Though he appeared at his second court appearance for the sentencing the judge ruled that his licence was to be suspended for 18 months and a fine of $2800.

Maitua had been named in the Australian Rugby League side for the Tri Nations series for the first time in his career after a knee injury ruled Brisbane forward Tonie Carroll out of the upcoming Tri-Nations tournament. His short international career came to a grinding halt after suffering a distal syndesmosis injury to his ankle in the closing stages of the 30–18 win over New Zealand at Mt Smart Stadium.

2009: Move to Cronulla

On 15 June 2009, Maitua was suspended for 2 years for testing positive to a banned substance. He signed with the Parramatta Eels on return from suspension for the 2011 NRL season.

2011-2013: Return to NRL and move to Parramatta

Reni Maitua signed with Parramatta in 2011 but was unable to play until his ban ended in May. Due to his good form, inspirational leadership and a new outlook on life, he was made co-captain of the Parramatta club alongside Jarryd Hayne and Tim Mannah in 2013. In June 2013, Maitua was one of 12 Parramatta players that were told that their futures at the club were uncertain by coach, Ricky Stuart. Hasler has confirmed Tooty will add depth to the Bulldogs in 2014. He will bring experience to the Bulldogs side.

In October 2013, Reni was a part of the Samoan team that participated in the 2013 Rugby League World Cup. He made his debut in the Samoans’ impressive display against the Kiwis. This match however would be his only match of the Tournament, as injury forced him to pull out from the remaining games in the Tournament.

Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 2014- : Return to the Bulldogs

In November 2013 Maitua was charged assault after allegedly punching a taxi driver’s arm, he later wrote an apology on Twitter and pleaded not guilty. After spending first 8 Rounds of Rugby League in the NSW Cup for the Bulldogs. Maitua was selected to play for Samoa in the 3 May 2014 Pacific Rugby League International against Fiji. Maitua played at five-eighth in the 32-16 win at Penrith Stadium. Maitua played his first match for the Bulldogs in 6 years in Round 11 against the Sydney Roosters at ANZ Stadium off the bench in the 32-12 loss. Maitua finished the Bulldogs 2014 season with him playing 13 matches and scoring 1 try (4p).

On 7 October 2014, Maitua was selected in the Samoan 24-man squad for the 2014 Four Nations series. Maitua only played 1 of the 4 games, Samoa did not select him until the 4th and final game because of Maitua’s involvement in a nightclub brawl in Brisbane alongside two other Samoan players, one day before kicking off the Four Nations series.

On 19 December 2014, Maitua signed a two-year contract with the Featherstone Rovers in the Kingstone Press Championship starting from 2015.

Jarryd Hayne

Jarryd Hayne

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Jarryd Lee Hayne (born 15 February 1988) is an Australian professional rugby league player and former American football and rugby sevens player, who currently plays Fullback for the Gold Coast Titans of the National Rugby League (NRL). He previously played for the Parramatta Eels of the NRL, the San Francisco 49ers of the National Football League (NFL) and the Fiji national rugby sevens team in Rugby Union.

Hayne earned representative honours at NRL All Star, state and international levels (Australia and Fiji) throughout his rugby league career. He was awarded the Dally M Medal in 2009 and 2014 as the NRL’s player of the year. In 2009, Hayne won the Rugby League International Federation’s International Player of the Year award.

Background

Hayne was born on 15 February 1988. He is the son of a Fijian father, Manoa Thompson, and an Australian mother, Jodie. He has three sibling: Julius, Jonah and Evie Thompson. His father played professional rugby league for South Sydney, Western Suburbs and the Auckland Warriors while also representing Fiji. Hayne was one of three children raised by his single mother, and grew up in a red brick Campbelltown housing commission house in Minto.In early life Hayne took up athletics winning multiple titles. He still holds the under 8 and under 9 year old Public School Sports Association (PSSA) 100 metre records.He competed in Little Athletics until under 15 age group.He attended school at John Warby Public School, Leumeah High and Westfields Sports High School but dropped out of high school early to pursue a career in rugby league.

Background

Hayne began playing junior rugby league for Campbelltown City, East Campbelltown and Cabramatta at the age of six.

2000s

Hayne made his NRL debut with the Parramatta Eels at 18 years of age on 19 May 2006 against the Penrith Panthers at CUA Stadium. Jason Taylor, who was making his first grade coaching debut, chose him on the wing. Taylor later said, “Everyone knew his talent, it wasn’t just me.”Hayne quickly made an impression on the competition scoring 17 tries within 16 games in his debut season. This tally included a personal best of four tries against the Newcastle Knights in a 46–12 win to Parramatta. His excellent try scoring ability saw him rewarded with the 2006 Dally M ‘Rookie of the Year’ award and a spot on the Kangaroos Squad. He was also named the 2006 Parramatta Eels season’s rookie of the year.

He started the season at centre but later moved to fullback due to an injury to Luke Burt and scored 12 tries, including the winning try against the New Zealand Warriors in the First Qualifying Final of the 2007 NRL Finals series. Following Parramatta’s close victory against Brisbane in July 2007, Hayne was accused of diving to impede Brisbane’s momentum after a heavy hit from Sam Thaiday. Then Brisbane coach Wayne Bennett said “You talk about ethics in our sport. You talk about not laying on the ground” and then claimed Hayne should be cited for “bringing the game into disrepute.” Hayne denied that he dived to deliberately impede Brisbane’s momentum and claimed that he was genuinely hurt after the collision with Thaiday. It should be noted Hayne was not found guilty of any of the accusations either in a court of law or the NRL judiciary. In the 2007 Grand Final qualifier, Hayne was again accused of diving when he stayed down and received a penalty for a high shot. Players also accused Hayne of winking after the incident, Clint Newton saying “To lay down like he did and then get up and wink, I don’t think that’s in the spirit of the game. Straight after he got up, he winked at Dallas Johnson – facing us.” Hayne denied the accusations, saying “I don’t engage in that shit, I just score tries and make people happy”.

Parramatta announced Hayne had signed with the club for a $2M extension. On 15 September, he was officially announced as Rugby League’s fastest man, after becoming the highest placed league player in the Gatorade Bolt, although other noted league speedsters such as David Mead, Michael Jennings, Brett Stewart, and Kevin Gordon did not participate.

At the start of the 2009 NRL season, Hayne played at five-eighth with very limited success. Hayne was moved back to his preferred position of fullback just before the round 8 clash with the North Queensland Cowboys. His return to form at fullback prompted Dean Ritchie of Daily Telegraph to call Hayne “the most gifted Parramatta player since the great Brett Kenny.” Hayne’s performances for Parramatta stepped up to another level as the 2009 season progressed. His influence on the game from fullback was lauded by many pundits as the Eels made a late season surge. From Round 19 to Round 24, he won six consecutive Man of the Match awards. He was described as “the best player in any code of football in Australia” by Phil Gould. Hayne has won the Dally M Medals for Player of the Year and Fullback of the Year respectively. He became one of the youngest winners of the prestigious award and only the second fullback in history to be crowned Dally M Player of the Year. Hayne escaped a grade two charge after coming into contact with the head of Bryson Goodwin, sliding in with his knees to stop Goodwin in the act of scoring a try during the Preliminary Final against the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs. Hayne pleaded guilty to a grade one charge, however a grade two charge would have resulted in Hayne missing the 2009 NRL Grand Final. Hayne ran 4,429 metres with the ball in 2009, more than any other player in the competition. At the start of November 2009 while on tour with the Kangaroos, Hayne was left out as one of the six nominees for the Golden Boot Award (Best Rugby League Player in the World) despite him being the year’s Dally M Medal winner, Dally M fullback of the year, NSW State of Origin player of the series, International Federation player of the year, Parramatta player of the season and Rugby League Week player of the year in 2009. That award went to Melbourne Storm Greg Inglis. He was named the Fiji Bati player of the year for 2009. Jarryd Hayne’s performance for the Parramatta Eels in the 2009 grand final against the Melbourne Storm was largely viewed in Australian and New Zealand media as disappointing. Journalist Josh Massoud, writing for The Daily Telegraph wrote, “For reasons only known to the god he recently discovered, Eels superstar Hayne failed to contest the ball.” Prior to the game the media focused much on Hayne’s match-up with the incumbent Australian, Queensland and Melbourne Storm fullback Billy Slater which was touted as “one of the most anticipated individual match-ups in Grand Final history”. Phil Gould said ” Hayne was just shut out of the game, his performance wasn’t actually that bad”.

Hayne’s 2009 season has since been described as one of the greatest individual seasons in Australian rugby league history.

2010s

For the 2010 ANZAC Test, Hayne was selected to play for Australia on the wing in their victory against New Zealand.

Being named as co-captain of Parramatta in 2013, Hayne has had an impressive season, particularly with regards to his goal line defence. This earned him a call up for New South Wales in the first game of the 2013 Origin Series at his preferred position of fullback after incumbent Brett Stewart was injured. Hayne scored the first try of the series for NSW and was instrumental once again in their only victory of the series.

In 2014 Hayne started the season with his most consistent display of rugby league, leading the Dally M medal rankings after 10 Rounds. He was selected for New South Wales in his favoured fullback position for Game One of the 2014 State of Origin series. He produced a man of the match performance, setting up one try and scoring one to deliver New South Wales a 12–8 win in Brisbane and a 1–0 series lead. During the annual 2014 players poll, where 100 players from the 16 clubs are interviewed, Hayne was voted as ‘best in the game,’ the first NSW player since Andrew Johns won the honour in 2006. In Round 22 of the season, playing against the Canberra Raiders, Hayne scored another 50m solo try to bring up his 100th career try. He became only the third player behind Luke Burt and Brett Kenny to score 100 tries for Parramatta. In Round 23 of the season Hayne topped his 2006 try scoring effort, reaching his 18th for the season against the Bulldogs. Hayne finished the season as the NRL’s leading try-scorer with 20 for the season. On 29 September 2014, on the Dally M Awards night, Hayne and North Queensland Queensland Cowboys skipper Johnathan Thurston were the joint winners of the 2014 Dally M Player of the Year Award after the most thrilling countdown in the award’s history. For Hayne, it is his second Dally M Player of the Year award following his win in 2009 and also claimed the Fullback of the Year and Best Representative Player awards, respectively.

Return to league

On 2 August 2016, it was announced that Hayne would be returning to the NRL by signing a two-year contract with the Gold Coast Titans. His contract was touted to be as worth as much as $1.2 million a season, the most any NRL player has been paid in one year. Hayne made himself available for immediate selection and made his debut for the Titans against the New Zealand Warriors on 7 August 2016. In Round 22 in what was his second game back in the NRL, Hayne kicked the match winning field goal in the Titans 19-18 win against the Wests Tigers.

Sam Burgess

Sam Burgess

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Sam Burgess (born 14 December 1988) is an English professional rugby league footballer for the South Sydney Rabbitohs of the National Rugby League. A Great Britain and England international representative forward, he previously played for Bradford Bulls in the Super League. Burgess has also played rugby union internationally for England. He is one of four rugby league-playing brothers; younger brothers Tom and George are team-mates at South Sydney, while older brother Luke plays for Manly Warringah Sea Eagles.During his first spell at South Sydney, Burgess won the 2014 NRL Premiership, the club’s first in 43 years, and was named winner of the Clive Churchill Medal for man of the match in the 2014 NRL Grand Final.

In late 2014, Burgess switched codes to play rugby union for Bath Rugby. He was called up to the England national rugby union team in August 2015, becoming a dual-code international, and was a member of England’s squad for their unsuccessful 2015 Rugby Union World Cup campaign before returning to rugby league for the 2016 NRL season.

Early life

Burgess was born on 14 December 1988 in Liversedge, Kirklees, West Yorkshire. His late father, Mark Burgess, who died of motor neurone disease, was also a rugby league footballer who played for Nottingham City, Rochdale Hornets, Dewsbury and Hunslet;whilst his mother, Julie, is a teacher, currently employed at The Scots College in Bellevue Hill, Sydney.His older brother, Luke, and younger twin brothers, Tom and George, are also professional rugby league footballers.
He attended Heckmondwike Grammar School.He played his junior rugby for Hunslet Parkside, Dewsbury Moor and also played for Liversedge Cricket Club.ation needed]

Rugby league
Bradford Bulls

Burgess made his Super League début against Leeds in 2006 after already being dubbed by Shontayne Hape as “Great Britain’s Sonny Bill”. After a highly successful début season with the Bulls, Burgess was awarded the Senior Academy Player of the Year Award by the club. In 2007 Burgess has established himself as a first team regular. After a great full season he was called up for the Great Britain squad for the 2007 Test series with New Zealand, and was named as young player of the year in Super League. Burgess made his Great Britain début against New Zealand in the 1st test in October 2007, scoring a try. Burgess also played in the centenary match between the All Golds and Northern Union; he was awarded the Man of the match. He gained attention for his big hit on New Zealand prop Fuifui Moimoi during the Kiwis’ 2007 tour when he was only 19 years old.

At the end of 2008’s Super League XIII, Burgess was forced to rule himself out contention for the England 2008 World Cup squad because of injury.

In September 2009, the South Sydney Rabbitohs announced they had signed Burgess on a four-year deal from the 2010 season. Burgess, on contract at Bradford until the end of the 2010 season, was released after the clubs agreed on a compensation fee. South Sydney co-owner and A-list celebrity Russell Crowe persuaded Burgess to choose his club over others that were competing for his signature, after inviting Burgess and his mother to the set of Robin Hood, which he was filming in England at the time.

Burgess, in his last game in the UK before moving to the NRL, played a prominent role in the final of the 2009 Four Nations tournament, scoring two tries in England’s loss to Australia.

South Sydney

Before he had played a game for South Sydney Burgess played prop forward for the NRL All Stars in the inaugural All Stars match after Rabbitohs prop Dave Taylor injured his ankle at training. It was played at Skilled Park on the Gold Coast on 13 February 2010. The NRL All Stars lost the game 16–12.

He was selected to play for England against France in the one-off test in 2010.

Burgess was given a one-week ban by the NRL judiciary for a grade one grapple tackle. He was placed on report during Round 21, against the Canterbury Bulldogs, for a grapple tackle made on Canterbury fullback Ben Barba. Burgess therefore missed the Round 22 clash against Wests Tigers. This suspension came at a fairly pivotal time in the season, as forwards Michael Crocker, Luke Stuart, Scott Geddes, and Dave Taylor had all been ruled out from the clash already.

Burgess continued to represent England at the end of the season in the 2010 Four Nations tournament. His shoulder was injured in the first game of the 2011 NRL season against the Roosters on 11 March, for which he needed surgery and a month of rest. However, as soon as he came back from that, he injured his ankle and is out for the remainder of 2011.

In August 2013, the Burgess brothers became the first set of four brothers to line up in the same Australian side since Ray, Roy, Rex and Bernard Norman played for Sydney’s Annandale club during the 1910 NSWRFL season. That year, Burgess was banned for two games following his infamous “squirrel grip” on Will Chambers – where Chambers’s testicles were grabbed during a game. Sam was in a DVD about his life called ‘Slammin’ Sam: The Sam Burgess Story’ After the 2013 NRL season Burgess represented England in the 2013 World Cup.

On 17 February 2014, it was announced that at the end of the year Burgess would switch to rugby union. In what was his last match for South Sydney, Burgess, along with brothers Tom and George played against the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs in the 2014 NRL Grand Final. Despite suffering a broken cheekbone in the first tackle of the game, Burgess continued to play on, with his team winning the match. He was awarded the Clive Churchill Medal for best player in the grand final. Taking into account the retrospective Clive Churchill medal awarded to Ron Coote in 1971, Sam Burgess was the first South Sydney player to claim the medal in 43 years.

Rugby union

He was signed for Bath Rugby in England’s top competition on a three-year contract, starting from October 2014. His start date was then delayed until December 2014 due to complicated surgery to fix a fractured cheek and eye socket. He was seen by the English rugby union as their answer to Sonny Bill Williams – a big ball-playing rugby league forward who can transfer those skills to the backline midfield in union.

He scored his first try for Bath in the 13th round of the Aviva Premiership against Wasps at the Recreation ground and was awarded man of the match.

On 21 January, he was named in the England Saxons squad to play the Irish Wolfhounds.

On 10 April, Burgess started in the Aviva Premiership against Newcastle Falcons at blindside flanker. Burgess completed the most turnovers of any player in the matches of that round.

On 10 August, Burgess was named in the England Elite Squad to make his International debut against France at Twickenham on 15 August, in a warm-up match for the Rugby World Cup. He started the game which England won 19-14. Following his appearance where he was sin-binned, World Cup winning English scrum half Matt Dawson commented: “You can’t take him to the World Cup for me. He played 80 mins and credit for that. But the way the game went in the second half there was nothing for him to do. The great thing about Burgess is he doesn’t make mistakes with ball in hand. But unfortunately, if you’re going to be really picky, positionally he wasn’t great. He played like a six rather than a 12. There are things that are instinctively he doesn’t know what to do.” Dawson’s comments came before Lancaster named Burgess as one of four centres including Henry Slade to represent England in the World Cup. His inclusion and performances at the World Cup were widely scrutinized, and seen by some pundits as partly to blame for England’s “humiliating” early pool stage exit from the tournament—the worst result for a host nation in the tournament’s history.

On 5 November, Burgess made the decision to leave rugby union, opting to return to South Sydney Rabbitohs, signing a three-year contract, approximately worth 1.5 million per season.

Rugby league return

In early November 2015 it was reported that Burgess had been signed to the South Sydney Rabbitohs for $1.5m AUD per season. This figure would make him the highest paid Rugby league player of all time and in the top three highest paid of either code. In December 2015 Burgess was selected to play for the World All Stars in the 2016 Rugby League All Stars Match alongside his brother Tom Burgess.

In October 2016, Burgess was named in the 24-man England squad for the 2016 Four Nations tournament. He was also announced the new captain under new coach Wayne Bennett after original captain Sean O’Loughlin was unavailable through injury.

Billy Brownless

Billy Brownless

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A loveable character on and off air, Billy Brownless has an active media career in radio and television, continuing to rank as a hit with audiences everywhere. Brownless is a panellist on Channel 9’s top rating Thursday night Footy show as well as being a key member of the Sunday Footy show team. Brownless has had a long term involvement in radio, with his sense of humour and keen sporting knowledge combining to provide listeners with some fast-paced on-air action.

In 2010, Brownless joined the ever popular Triple M AFL coverage, with on-air banter that has made him a fan favourite. Teaming up with Footy Show cohort James Brayshaw as co-host of Rush Hour, Triple M’s drive time radio show which is on air Monday to Friday afternoons 3-5pm quickly become a radio sensation. Prior to this, Brownless was an original member of Melbourne’s 24-hour sports talk back station SEN 1116. Third on Geelong’s all-time goalkicking list behind Gary Ablett and Doug Wade, Brownless is popular on the speaking circuit thanks to his many anecdotes from 25 years in both the football and media spotlight. In 2008, Billy released his first book “Billy’s Book for Blokes” which he draws on his own experiences and ideas to help guide the blokes in the 21st century. A second book, The Best ‘A Man Walks Into a Bar’ Jokes hit shelves in 2009.

 

Danny Buderus

Danny Buderus

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Danny Buderus (born 6 February 1978) is an Australian rugby league coach and former professional footballer of the 1990s, 2000s and 2010s. An Australian international and New South Wales State of Origin representative hooker, he played in the National Rugby League for Australian club, the Newcastle Knights, with whom he won a Dally M Medal and the 2001 NRL Premiership before setting a new record for most games with the club. Buderus also played in Super League for English club, the Leeds Rhinos, with whom he won 2011’s Super League XVI. He set the record for most appearances as captain of the New South Wales State of Origin team at 15 and for most consecutive appearances for the side at 21. Buderus also played representative football for the Exiles and New South Wales Country. In 2015, he took up an interim coaching role with the Knights and continued as an assistant coach in 2016.

Professional playing career

Newcastle Knights
In Round 3 of the 1997 ARL season Buderus made his ARL debut for the Newcastle Knights against the South Queensland Crushers. Buderus scored his first try in first-grade in 1998 against the Auckland Warriors in Round 7 of the 1998 NRL season. In 2001, Buderus was selected for Country Origin in the annual City vs Country Origin match. In 2001, Buderus made his international debut for Australia against New Zealand. Buderus played hooker in the Knights’ 2001 NRL Grand Final win over the Parramatta Eels, the Knights winning 30–24. Having won the 2001 NRL Premiership, the Knights travelled to England to play the 2002 World Club Challenge against Super League champions, the Bradford Bulls. Buderus played at hooker and scored a try in Newcastle’s loss. He made his State of Origin debut for New South Wales in 2002. Buderus played his 200th NRL game in Round 14 of the 2002 NRL season against the Parramatta Eels. In 2002, Buderus was named the Dally M Hooker of the Year and Dally M Representative Player of the Year at the Dally M Awards at the end of the regular season. Buderus played a pivotal role in Newcastle making the semi-finals again in 2003 and ended the season again named Hooker of the Year.

In 2004, Buderus was awarded the 2004 Dally M Medal for the Player of the Year, only the second hooker to be awarded the medal after Mal Cochrane as well as the 2004 Hooker of the Year. Buderus was selected in the Australian team to go and compete in the end of season 2004 Rugby League Tri-Nations tournament. In the final against Great Britain he played at hooker in the Kangaroos’ 44–4 victory. In 2005 Buderus again won the Hooker of the Year award. On 13 March 2008, Buderus signed a 2-year contract with the Leeds Rhinos starting in 2009. In August 2008, Buderus was named in the preliminary 46-man Kangaroos squad for the 2008 Rugby League World Cup despite comments by Kangaroos’ coach, Ricky Stuart, that he would not select players leaving Australia to play in England in 2009. However Buderus wasn’t selected to play in a game.

Leeds Rhinos
Buderus commenced playing in Super League for English club Leeds Rhinos in 2009. He re-signed with the Rhinos on a 2-year contract during 2010. In 2011, Buderus played hooker for Leeds in their 2011 Challenge Cup final defeat by the Wigan Warriors. On 10 June 2011, Buderus was selected in the Exiles squad for the Rugby League International Origin Match against England at Headingley while playing for the Leeds Rhinos of the Super League. He also captained the side to a victory. In 2011, Buderus played hooker for Leeds in their 2011 Super League Grand Final win over St. Helens RLFC, with Leeds winning 30–16, in which was his final game for the club. After new Newcastle Knights coach Wayne Bennett requested Buderus’ services, Buderus signed a 1-year contract on 1 October 2011 with the Newcastle Knights starting in 2012, returning to the club he had played 220 games for. He had been released from the final year of his Leeds Rhinos contract to sign with Newcastle.

Return to Newcastle
In 2012, 7 weeks into his return to the National Rugby League, Buderus was again selected for Country Origin at starting hooker, however he withdrew due to injury. Later in the year there was speculation he would be named at hooker for New South Wales in Game 1 of the 2012 State of Origin series but was injured and didn’t get picked, Robbie Farah was instead picked and retained his spot for the rest of the series. On 12 June 2012, Buderus re-signed with the Knights on 1-year contract, 14 rounds into the 2012 season.

In September 2013, Buderus announced his retirement at the end of the 2013 NRL season. During the Knights vs Roosters Preliminary Final, Buderus entered a tackle and made contact with the elbow of Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, knocking him out. This saw Buderus stretchered from the field, ending his career. However, later scans in hospital cleared the retiring hooker of any serious head or neck injuries.

Coaching career
Buderus stayed with the Knights as an assistant coach for 2014. In July 2015, Buderus was made interim head coach, following the firing of Rick Stone.After the 2016 season, he chose to leave his role as an assistant coach.

Bodi Turner

Bodi Turner

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Bodi Turner will get his chance on sport’s greatest stage in Rio after rising through the ranks in the past couple of years to be among the world’s elite.

Turner broke onto the scene in 2011 when he finished on the podium at a number of under 19 events before claiming 5th in the age group at the World Championships. He stepped up to the senior competition in 2013 and the following year he claimed bronze at the Australian Championships and fifth at the Oceania Championships.

He made his senior World Championships debut in 2015 where he finished 14th before going to secure his first World Cup podium in Sweden. Lining up against many of the athletes he will compete against in Rio, the Queenslander showed his progression in the sport by beating all but one of his more fancied rivals a year out from the 2016 Games. He finished the year as the 11th highest ranked rider in the world.

Turner began the Olympic year on home soil competing in the National Series. Having crashed out to finish seventh in the opening round he bounced back to claim two wins and a second as he again highlighted his credentials as one of Australia’s best.

After missing the semi-finals at the opening three World Cup events of the 2016 season, Turner progressed through to the penultimate race at the 2016 World Championships. In what was a stacked semi that also featured Rio 2016 teammate Sam Willoughby, Turner finished seventh to miss out on making his first senior World Championships final.

David Nofoaluma

David Nofoaluma

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Playing career
Born in Newcastle, New South Wales, Nofoaluma is of Samoan descent. Nofoaluma played his junior football for the Campbelltown Warriors and Campbelltown Collegians before being signed by the Wests Tigers. In 2010, he played for the Australian Schoolboys and also New South Wales U18’s team. In 2011, Nofoaluma again played for the New South Wales U18’s team. He played for the Tigers’ NYC team in 2011 and 2012, scoring a try as a member of the 2012 Grand Final winning team. On 23 May 2012, Nofoaluma re-signed with the Tigers on a 2-year contract.

2013
In Round 10, Nofoaluma made his NRL debut for the Tigers against the South Sydney Rabbitohs on the wing in the 54-10 loss at ANZ Stadium. The next week against the North Queensland Cowboys at Leichhardt Oval, Nofoaluma scored a match-winning try, winning the game for the Tigers 22-20. In his third appearance in Round 13 against the Penrith Panthers, Nofoaluma scored two tries in the first half in the 20-18 win.

In Round 20, Nofoaluma gained attention for a try he scored against the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles. Leaping for a Benji Marshall cross-field bomb, Nofoaluma caught the ball before being shoved by Manly winger Jorge Tafua. With most of his body in the air over the dead-in-goal line, Nofoaluma managed to place the ball down for what was described as, “arguably the most acrobatic try of the past decade.” It was awarded the Dally M Try of the Year. In total, Nofoaluma scored eight tries from his fifteen appearances in 2013, and was described as, “a revelation on the flank.” Despite his limited appearances, he was sixth in the competition for tackle-busts throughout the season. He was named by Phil Gould as one of the rookies of the year.

2014
After missing Round 1 with a hamstring injury, Nofoaluma returned for the Tigers in Round 2, scoring a try in the Tigers 42-12 win. On 11 April, Nofoaluma re-signed with Wests Tigers, keeping him at the club till the end of the 2017 season. In April, Nofoaluma was named in the Samoan team to play against Fiji in the 2014 Pacific Rugby League International to qualify for the 2014 Four Nations; He was later ruled out with a knee injury and replaced by Young Tonumaipea. In Round 18, Nofoaluma suffered a season ending ACL injury. He scored 7 tries from 15 matches in 2014.

2015
After undergoing off-season surgery on his knee, Nofoaluma returned from the injury via the Wests Tigers NSW Cup side. A subsequent ankle injury meant he did not return to first grade until Round 10. With team-mate Chris Lawrence moving to the second-row, Nofoaluma played some games at centre before swapping positions with Kevin Naiqama and returning to his regular position of winger. Nofoaluma played in 10 games and scored 6 tries for the season. On 26 September, he represented the Prime Minister’s XIII against Papua New Guinea, playing on the wing. He scored two tries in his team’s 40-12 win.

2016
Nofoaluma scored three tries in the opening two rounds of the season. In May, he was a late selection for City, but only lasted five minutes in the match before being replaced after suffering a head knock. Missing just one game for Wests Tigers, he was the team’s joint leader for tries scored, with a career-best 14. He led the entire competition with 134 tackle breaks.

At the end of the year, Nofoaluma made his international debut for Samoa, playing fullback in a historical test match against Fiji in Apia.

Matt Wright

Matt Wright

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Born in Auckland, New Zealand, Wright grew up in Blacktown, New South Wales, playing his junior rugby league for St Patrick’s and attending Patrician Brothers’ College. While attending Patrician Brothers’, Wright was a member of their rugby league team that was defeated by Matraville High in the final of 2007 GIO Schoolboy Cup. In 2008, Wright was selected to play for the Australian Schoolboys.

A Penrith Panthers junior, Wright played for the Panther’s Harold Matthews Cup and S.G. Ball Cup sides, winning the Harold Matthews Player of the Year award in 2007. In 2008, Wright debuted for Penrith’s NYC team. In 10 games, he scored six tries and kicked 28 goals. That year he signed a three-year deal with the Cronulla Sharks.

Playing career
2009
After starting the 2009 season in the NYC, Wright made his first grade debut for the Sharks at just 18 years old. In his rookie season, Wright played 17 games and scored 6 tries.

2010
Wright spent the 2010 season playing for Cronulla’s NYC and NSW Cup sides. At the end of the season, Wright played two games for the Junior Kangaroos and was selected in Samoa’s train-on squad.

2011
In 2011, Wright returned to first grade for the Sharks, playing 19 games all on the wing and scoring 4 tries.

2012
Wright spent the majority of 2012 playing fullback for Cronulla, scoring 1 try.

2013
In 2013, he made his test debut for Samoa in the Pacific Rugby League International against Tonga.

Later that season, Wright was a member of the Sharks victorious New South Wales Cup side.

2014
In January 2014, Wright signed a one-year deal with the North Queensland Cowboys. Wright made his debut for the Cowboys in their Round 5 win over the Newcastle Knights, in which he scored a try. On 22 August, Wright became one of the current NRL players and former Sharks players to accept reduced bans from the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority for his role in the club’s 2011 supplements program.

Wright finished his first season for the Cowboys with 9 tries in 17 games, including a first half hat-trick in the side’s 64–6 win over the Wests Tigers.

2015
In Round 5 of the 2015 NRL season, Wright scored his second hat-trick for the Cowboys in their 30–10 win over the Penrith Panthers.

2016
On 22 April, Wright was granted a release from the Cowboys to join the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles on a three-year contract. On 7 May 2016, Wright played for Samoa in the 2016 Polynesian Cup against Tonga, where he played on the wing and scored a try in the 18–6 win at Parramatta Stadium. Later in the year he represented Samoa in their historical test match against Fiji in Apia. He kicked 3 goals in Samoa’s two point defeat.

Krisnan Inu

Krisnan Inu

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Parramatta Eels
A Parramatta Eels junior, Inu made his first grade debut in the 2007 NRL season against the Canberra Raiders. After just one first grade match he was named to play for New Zealand in the ANZAC Day Test against Australia at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane. The Kangaroos ran out easy 30-6 winners over the Kiwis. After the test, Inu was dropped back to Premier League but returned to first grade through a series of injuries to regular players. Inu took on the kicking duties as Parramatta’s primary kicker and full-back, Luke Burt, was injured mid-season. In Round 25 Inu scored three tries and kicked seven goals in Parramatta’s 46-point win over Brisbane.

In August 2008, Inu was named in the New Zealand training squad for the 2008 Rugby League World Cup, and in October 2008, he was named in the final 24-man Kiwi squad.

After a 2-4 start to the 2009 season, the Eels decided to re-tool their line-up, dropping Inu to the New South Wales Cup, with Taulima Tautai replacing him for the Round 7 match against the Brisbane Broncos.

New Zealand Warriors
Inu’s up-and-down tenure at the Warriors was curtailed in May 2012 with his release and immediate signing with the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs.

Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs
Inu was released by the Warriors in May 2012 so he could immediately join the Des Hasler coached Bulldogs. He signed with the Bulldogs until the end of the 2015 season.

Catalans Dragons
Inu returned to rugby league and was signed by Catalans Dragons in June 2015 to add depth to a depleted squad.

Frank Pritchard

Frank Pritchard

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Born in Sydney, New South Wales, Pritchard is of Samoan descent. Pritchard played his junior rugby league for the St Clair Comets and Campbelltown City Kangaroos and attended Eagle Vale High School before being signed by the Penrith Panthers.

Playing career
2000s
In Round 8 of the 2003 NRL season, Pritchard made his NRL debut for Penrith Panthers against the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles off the interchange bench in the Panthers 30-29 win at Penrith Stadium. Pritchard was named 18th man for the Panthers 2003 NRL Grand Final squad playing the Sydney Roosters. Pritchard finished his debut year in the NRL with him playing 7 games for the Panthers in the 2003 NRL season.

In Round 15 in the 2004 NRL Season against the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks, Pritchard scored his first career try in the Panthers 32-12 win at Remondis Stadium. Pritchard finished the 2004 NRL season with him played in 12 matches and scoring 2 tries for the Panthers.

Pritchard played the first 5 games of the 2005 season off the interchange bench before an opportunity came along for Pritchard to start when regular starting second rower Tony Puletua was sidelined with a season ending pectoral muscle injury. Pritchard played in the 2005 ANZAC Test, making his international test debut for New Zealand against Australia at second-row in the Kiwis 16-32 loss at Suncorp Stadium. Pritchard finished the 2005 NRL season with him playing in 22 matches and scoring a try for the Panthers. Pritchard was selected to represent New Zealand in the end of year Tri-Nations series, playing in 3 matches.

Pritchard was selected for New Zealand in the 2006 ANZAC Test, coming off the interchange bench in the Kiwis 12-50 loss at Suncorp Stadium. Pritchard finished the 2006 NRL season with him playing in 20 matches and scoring 3 tries for the Panthers. Pritchard was selected to represent New Zealand in the 2006 Tri-Nations series, playing in 4 matches, including scoring a try in the Kiwis 12-16 golden point final loss against Australia at the SFS.

On 17 February 2007, just before the NRL season, Pritchard and his brother Tom were involved in a violent confrontation in the Liverpool area. His brother reportedly received four knife wounds, including one to the pulmonary artery. Pritchard was stabbed in the hand, which led to him having an operation the next day. Pritchard was selected to for New Zealand in the 2007 ANZAC Test, coming off the interchange bench in the Kiwis 6-30 loss at Suncorp Stadium. In Round 23 against the Newcastle Knights, Pritchard scored a hatrick of tries in the Panthers 46-12 win at Hunter Stadium. Pritchard finished the Panthers 2007 NRL season with him playing in 23 matches and scoring 14 tries. Pritchard was selected to represent New Zealand in the 2007 All Golds Tour series, playing in 3 matches.

Pritchard was selected to for New Zealand in the century Trans-Tasman test match at the SCG, playing off the interchange bench in the Kiwis 12-28 loss. Pritchard finished the 2008 NRL season with him playing in 20 matches and scoring 6 tries for the Panthers. Pritchard was named in the New Zealand squad for the 2008 Rugby League World Cup but didn’t play a match in the tournament.

Pritchard finished the 2009 NRL season with him playing in 20 matches and scoring 6 tries for the Panthers. Pritchard was selected to represent New Zealand in the 2009 Four Nations series, playing in 3 matches.

2010s
On 25 August 2010, Pritchard agreed to 3-year deal to sign with the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs from 2011 onwards In Round 26 against the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks, Pritchard scored a hatrick in the Panthers 50-12 win at Penrith Stadium. Pritchard played in 20 matches and scored 5 tries in his final season with the Penrith Panthers. Pritchard was selected to represent New Zealand in the 2010 Four Nations series, playing in 3 matches.

In Round 1 of the 2011 NRL season, Pritchard made his club debut for the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs against the Wests Tigers off the interchange bench, scoring a try in the Bulldogs 24-14 win at ANZ Stadium. Pritchard finished his first year with the club with him playing in all of the Bulldogs 24 matches and scoring 4 tries.

On 6 February 2012, Pritchard was chosen to play for the NRL All Stars off the interchange bench in the 28-12 win over the Indigenous All Stars at Robina Stadium. Pritchard was selected to for New Zealand in the 2012 ANZAC Test at second-row in the Kiwis 12-20 loss at Eden Park. On 30 September 2012, In the Bulldogs 2012 NRL Grand Final match against the Melbourne Storm, Pritchard started at second-row in the Bulldogs 4-14 loss. Pritchard finished the 2012 NRL season with him playing in 26 matches and scoring 4 tries for the Bulldogs. Pritchard was selected to for New Zealand in the October 2012 test against Australia at second-row in the Kiwis 10-18 loss at 1300SMILES Stadium.

For the 2013 Anzac Test, Pritchard was selected to play for New Zealand at second-row, scoring a try in the 12-32 loss. Pritchard finished the Bulldogs 2013 NRL season with him playing 19 matches and scoring 3 tries. Pritchard was selected in New Zealand’s 2013 World Cup squad, playing in 3 matches.

On 23 January 2014, Pritchard was appointed as a co-captain of the Bulldogs team for the 2014 NRL season, alongside Michael Ennis. In Round 6, against the New Zealand Warriors at Eden Park, Pritchard suffered a pectoral muscle tear injury. This sidelined Pritchard until Round 26 where he played off the interchange bench in the Bulldogs golden point extra time 18-19 loss to the Gold Coast Titans at Robina Stadium. On 5 October 2014, in the Bulldogs 2014 NRL Grand Final match against the South Sydney Rabbitohs, Pritchard played off the interchange bench in the Bulldogs 6-30 loss. Pritchard finished the 2014 NRL season with him playing 10 matches and scoring a try for the Bulldogs. On 7 October 2014, Pritchard was selected in the Samoan 24-man squad for the 2014 Four Nations series. Pritchard played in all 3 matches for Samoa, making his debut against England in Samoa’s 26-32 loss at Suncorp Stadium.

On 23 January 2015, Pritchard was named in the Bulldogs’ 2015 Auckland Nines squad. On 2 May 2015, Pritchard captained Samoa in their Polynesian Cup battle with Tonga. Pritchard played at second-row, scored a try and was involved in a try saving tackle with Samoa and Bulldogs teammate Sam Kasiano on Tonga winger Jorge Taufua, forcing him over the sideline and securing Samoa the narrow 18-16 victory at Cbus Super Stadium. In Round 24 against South Sydney Rabbitohs, Pritchard played his 100th club match for the Bulldogs in the 32-18 win at ANZ Stadium. In the Bulldogs Semi-final match against the Sydney Roosters, Pritchard played his last club match for the Bulldogs in the 38-12 season ending loss at the SFS. Pritchard finished his last year in the NRL with him playing in 25 matches and scoring 8 tries for the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs in the 2015 NRL season.

On 7 May 2016, Pritchard travelled down from Hull to Sydney to captain Samoa in the 2016 Polynesian Cup against Tonga, where he started in the second row in the 18-6 win at Parramatta Stadium. On 27 August 2016, Frank would go on to make history as he played in the Challenge Cup Final for Hull FC against Warrington Wolves. Hull, having never won at Wembley Stadium in 7 attempts had to come back from 10-0 down with 20 minutes to go to win the game 12-10, giving him his first major Trophy and going down in the history books as the first Hull team to win at Wembley.

David Reynolds

David Reynolds

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Reynolds stepped into a national series campaign in the 2003 Australian Formula Ford Championship, finishing outside the top ten at series end. For 2004 Reynolds joined the Sonic Motor Racing Services for what would be four years and bring two national championships. First came victory in the 2004 Australian Formula Ford Championship. Moving away from open wheelers, Reynolds became part of Team Sonic expansion into Carrera Cup Australia. Finishing fifth in his first season, Reynolds stepped into third as the series transitioned from the Porsche 996 to the Porsche 997 in the 2006 season. After a season long battle with Alex Davison and Craig Baird, Reynolds claimed the 2007 title.

Endurance co-driver (2007–08)
Reynolds’ 2007 form in Carrera Cup made him a natural fit for an endurance race co-driver role and he was signed to drive with the HSV Dealer Team until Paul Radisich became available after he left Team Kiwi Racing. He moved into a co-driver role with Cameron McConville at Paul Weel Racing but the team failed to finish the Sandown 500 and Bathurst ended before the race start as the engine failed on the warm-up lap.

With Team Sonic not yet ready to step into the Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series, Reynolds needed a new team for 2008. He found one in 2007 Fujitsu Series Champions, Tony D’Alberto Racing, finishing fourth in his first season. The 2008 enduros were a repeat of 2007 however. Again a DNF co-driving with Paul Dumbrell at the Phillip Island 500 preceded another Bathurst 1000 on the sidelines after his gave up his seat in Dumbrell’s car for Rick Kelly after Radisich’s career-ending crash in Kelly’s car during practice left Kelly without a car to race.

Walkinshaw Racing (2009)
In 2009, Reynolds drove for Walkinshaw Racing alongside Paul Dumbrell. He put on some strong performances throughout the year, but was generally struck with bad luck. An incredibly strong performance at Barbagallo Raceway where he was running in the top three for most of the race came unstuck when a delaminated front left tyre put him in the sand trap at turn 6. Reynolds eventually finished 22nd in the #24 Bundaberg Red Racing VE Commodore. He eventually finished his rookie season in 22nd place, without contract for 2010.

Endurance return (2010)
For 2010, Reynolds was retained by Walkinshaw Racing for the endurance events, joining Will Davison in the #22 HRT Commodore at Phillip Island and Bathurst. The no. 22 HRT car had a strong showing at the Bathurst 1000, with the car being in the top three for most of the day, however only a handful of laps from the end Will Davison hit the inside wall at Sulman Park and was then flung into the outside wall, ending their chances at mountain success. Despite the rules for 2010 meaning that one driver of each two cars had to have international pedigree, Reynolds was further retained for the Gold Coast 600 joining Fabian Coulthard in the #24 Bundaberg Commodore.

Kelly Racing (2011)
For the 2011 season, Reynolds joined Kelly Racing to drive the teams #16 Stratco Commodore. A few top 5 finishes were recorded with David placing a credible 19th overall. From midway through the 2011 season, David had contract disputes with Kelly Racing. This boiled over when remarks from Reynolds’ engineer towards Rick Kelly caused said engineer to be fired. Reynolds stated he was unsure if he would race at Bathurst that year, much less the rest of the season. However, despite this turmoil, Reynolds (paired with Tim Blanchard) qualified an impressive seventh for the great race but after issues finished 19th. From the contract issues going on within Kelly Racing, Reynolds was released from his contract after only one year of his two-year deal.

Rod Nash Racing (2012–15)
2012
In 2012, David switched manufacturers to join Rod Nash Racing and Ford to drive the teams #55 Bottle-O Falcon prepared by Ford Performance Racing and engineered by James Small, ironically replacing his former co-driver, retiring Paul Dumbrell. Reynolds started the season well, with front row qualifying positions and top ten results becoming frequent occurrences for the Bottle-O racer. However, bad luck marred results such as a cool suit failure in the first race in Adelaide resulting in a crash at turn 8, Garth Tander breaking his steering at Symmons plains, a tyre bundle breaking his front suspension in New Zealand, a refueller problem while he was leading at Phillip Island, and a gearbox issue at Barbagallo formed an inconsistent first part of the season. Reynolds scored his first pole position at Townsville after numerous front-row starts, but couldn’t manage to keep the car up the front eventually finishing sixth. Coming into the endurance races Reynolds was paired with Dean Canto who in previous years had driven with Dumbrell in the #55. The car had good car pace, again being on the front row for the Sandown 500 and eventually finishing 6th. For the 2012 Bathurst 1000 the Bottle-O team paid homage to the 1967 Bathurst winning car of Fred Gibson and Harry Firth, a 1967 Ford Falcon GT with the team also changed the number to 52. Reynolds qualified the car 8th, and by lap 26 after switching drivers they were running fourth. A delaminated tyre on the lead #6 car of John McIntyre and a pass on Luke Youlden in the #9 left Canto in second place by lap 36. After running an alternate strategy for much of the mid part of the race, the safety car on lap 106 for Jason Bright’s car at Murray’s corner meant that in their pitstop they had to put less fuel into the car as they had come in later than the cars around them. This jumped them from alternately running fifth to legitimately running second behind leader Jamie Whincup. This order continued from here, where the #52 car had great pace in the latter part of the race and finished agonizingly close to Whincup, with the time between the two being the second closest at that point and Whincup having hardly any fuel left in his car. It was stated by Reynolds after the race that the double stacking of the Stone Brothers Racing cars in pit lane at the lap 106 stop cost them valuable seconds as Reynolds had to wait behind them after his pit stop, which could have cost them the race. Nonetheless, it was a well deserved and overdue podium for the Bottle-O team and the first podium for Reynolds. Reynolds had a consistent back end of the 2012 season, with three more top-ten finishes but mixed with some bad luck, such as Garth Tander yet again breaking the steering of the #55 car when moving over in the braking zone at the end of the first race at Surfers Paradise after running well inside the top ten and his international co-driver, Nick Heidfeld, avoided the startline chaos, and Reynolds shoe melting in the sweltering temperatures in the first race in Sydney and the team having to perform a ‘shoe change’ in one of the stops. Reynolds eventually finished the season in a personal best 9th place, only two points behind the eighth place car of Lee Holdsworth.

2013
For 2013, Reynolds’ engineer switched to the #5 of Mark Winterbottom and Nathaniel Osborne was allocated to the #55 car. Reynolds season started poorly, with no placing higher than 14th in the first 2 rounds and a crash at the hairpin at Symmons Plains that nearly put the Bottle-O Falcon over the railing. In New Zealand things took a turn for the better with good car speed resulting in 4 top ten finishes in the 4 races with a highest place of 5th. The consistent qualifying and race results continued up to the endurance events, hitting a high point in Hidden Valley where Reynolds scored 2 more pole positions and a podium in the final race. He was set to score a podium in the first race as well before a desperate and poorly executed move by teammate Mark Winterbottom for the second position in the closing stages of the race, which saw Winterbottom lock up the rear brakes and turn Reynolds around at turn 6. This relegated Reynolds back to position 14 and from the subsequent drive-through penalty Winterbottom the #5 finished 17th. In the endurance races the Bottle-O Ford was competitive just as it was the previous year. Reynolds was again paired with Dean Canto and qualified sixth at the Sandown 500 before tyre issues put them back to 17th in the final standings after running strongly all day. For the Bathurst 1000 Reynolds qualified the car 9th after a botched shootout lap, and for most of the race were in the top 7 cars. In the final laps of the race Reynolds was fast closing on the battling cars of Jason Bright, Garth Tander and Craig Lowndes for third, fourth and fifth and had just passed Bright for fifth position when he was told that he didn’t have enough fuel to make it to the end. A quick stop two laps from the end relegated him to ninth place, disappointing for the team but valuable points nonetheless. For the final endurance round at Surfers Paradise Reynolds was able to retain Canto as his co-driver and the pair came home in eighth in the first race. For the second race Reynolds qualified on pole and led much of the early part of the race. After the first round of pitstops James Courtney’s co-driver Greg Murphy passed Canto for the lead and the #55 maintained second position. Continuing a streak of bad luck for the #22 Holden Racing Team car since Murphy crashing at Bathurst and the day before when turned into the fence by Whincup’s co-driver Dumbrell, the right front suspension of the car broke from hitting the curbs too hard with less than twenty laps to go. Reynolds took his maiden V8 Supercars victory, promptly receiving a kiss from team owner Rod Nash after parking his car. In his typical funny-man style, he threw pot plants off the podium to his team and as the presentation was being undertaken took Armor-All Man’s (Armor-All being the naming-rights sponsor of the event) foam hammer and hit his co-driver Dean Canto in the crotch. For the last five races of 2013 Reynolds had a consistent run, apart from the first race at Phillip Island where he was running in the top ten before an out of control Alex Premat collided heavily with the car behind him (James Courtney), tagging the back of Reynolds and spinning him around. He would eventually finish 22nd with a sub-standard back end of his car. From here he had top twelve results with an incredible run of luck at the last round in Sydney. Early in the first race he was vaulted up on two wheels after Mark Winterbottom turned around Craig Lowndes at turn 10, this would usually leave substantial damage to the suspension or steering but he continued on to finish 11th. In the final race of the season he qualified an uncharacteristic 17th, but through clever strategy and staying out of trouble at the treacherous circuit he was up to third by the last restart, eventually finishing fourth. Reynolds again finished the season in 9th position after a poor run of electrical problems for his closest competitor in tenth, Scott McLaughlin.

2014
In 2014 Reynolds was again the pilot for the #55 Rod Nash Racing Bottle-O Falcon, with the car taking on a different look after acquiring Jim Beam Devil’s Cut as the secondary sponsor replacing Canadian Club. Reynolds season again started with mix results, following a trend of poor results in the short, two race ‘sprint’ races but top ten results in the longer races that gave more points. This took a turn for the better after Symmons Plains where he claimed 17 top 15 results from 18 races, with an unfortunate tyre delamination in the last race in New Zealand when he was running in third place being the only omission. However, from the last race at Queensland Raceway where he qualified and finished in last place until the first race at Surfers Paradise Dean Canto and himself endured a run of terrible luck. In the first race at a drying Sydney Motorsport Park he was turned around by James Moffat at turn three and was then hit heavily by Tim Slade. The team were able to get the car out for the second race that day, but Reynolds, not known for his wet-weather driving, struggled in the treacherous conditions only managing 13th from starting 8th. In the last race where the track was dry, Reynolds was again spun around again by teammate Winterbottom for the second time in two seasons, at the same corner as he had been 2 races earlier. He collected Scott Pye on his way to heavy back end contact with the concrete wall, with both Fords out of the race and Winterbottom being given a drive-through penalty for his efforts, with the #5 eventually finishing 20th. For the Sandown 500 the Bottle-O team again tried an alternate strategy as Reynolds could only manage an 8th place qualifying position. The team would start Reynolds in the car while nearly all the other teams would start their co-drivers. This paid off as Reynolds made his way up to third position in his stint, then giving the car to Canto who maintained position. A perfectly timed safety car for their strategy looked to be putting the team on for their first podium of the season, but when getting in the car in the second driver change Reynolds tapped the accelerator, spinning the wheels of the car while it was on the air jacks. This is illegal in the V8 Supercars Championship for safety reasons, and they were given a drive through penalty, but recovered to finish 9th. The Bathurst 1000 looked to be a good weekend for the #55, as the car was in the top three in all the free practice sessions, breaking the lap record in the final Thursday practice with a 2:06.3714, over half a second quicker than Craig Lowndes’ lap four years earlier. However, qualifying was a different story. Early in the session on his first flying lap Reynolds had to go slightly wide at Reid Park because of a trundling Todd Kelly. This unsettled the car enough and put it on the dirty part of the track, causing it to smash into the outside wall at over 200kph. Reynolds later stated ‘I knew the car was stuffed when I saw one of the wheels roll past me’. An exclusion from the session for fellow Ford driver and eventual Bathurst winner Chaz Mostert and the #2 HRT car not taking part in the race ensued that Reynolds started the race from 24th position. Again the Bottle-O team ran an alternate strategy, pitting at different times to the cars around them. This, consistent safety cars and raw car speed left them well inside the top ten by the middle of the race, and at the red flag period on lap 61 were sitting in second position. The car continued on to lap 102, where under safety car period and running second in the race alternator problems forced them to retire. This was heartbreak for the team after a tumultuous weekend, with Dean Canto visibly upset and being comforted by the team after seeing the car stopped on Mountain Straight on the television coverage. The issues were found to not be from the crash in qualifying, but rather in the red flag period, where for over an hour the alternator was keeping the dry ice bucket used for the driver’s cool suit cold while the engine was off. Hopes of rebounding at the last endurance event in Surfers Paradise were dashed when while running in the top five cars Reynolds clipped a tyre bundle in the back chicane. He drove on for a couple corners before a right front suspension component gave way and put the #55 in the fence at turn 6. Yet another retirement left Reynolds squandering in the points standings, but the car was repaired in time for the race the next day where he and Canto finished a respectable 6th. The end of the season was consistent for Reynolds, a nice change for the team. However, a decent result went begging at the final race at Phillip Island, where an unsafe release out of his pit bay resulted in contact with Jason Bright. Reynolds would have been well inside the top ten had it not have been for this, but instead finished the race 22nd. At the final round in Sydney Reynolds showed good qualifying speed, benefiting from a red flag in the qualifying session he started from third and maintained that position to achieve his first podium of the season. However, consistent heavy storms in the late afternoon of each day dropped him down the order of the following races and these races were soon red-flagged because of the treacherous conditions. Reynolds eventually finished the season a disappointing 15th after showing early promise and being a high of 8th in the championship standings. Bad luck and unfortunate accidents in high point scoring races were the downfall of his championship position in 2014.

2015
For 2015 Reynolds is in the final year of his contract at Bottle-O Rod Nash Racing, and with Ford not supporting V8 Supercars from 2016 onwards it may well be his last year at the team. The cars will be upgraded to a new model for the first time since 2009 with the introduction of the FG X V8 Supercar for the Pepsi Max team at the beginning of the season with Reynolds and team mate Andre Heimgartner receiving the updated car early in the season. Reynolds engineer for 2013-14, Nathaniel Osborne, moved into the Chief Engineer role at Prodrive Racing Australia (previously FPR) with Reynolds new engineer being recent PRA recruit Brad Wischusen. With an older model Falcon with no aerodynamic changes in the off-season (the Commodore, FG X Falcon and Altima all received changes) Reynolds generally struggled for pace in the seasoning opening Clipsal 500. He qualified a personal best 6th for the second race but was spun by Michael Caruso in an amateur move at Turn 9. He recovered to cross the line 17th, far from where he was set to finish. Reynolds finished 15th in the longer race on Sunday the team made up ground with sound strategy but the speed of the old car was simply not up to scratch. For the non-championship round at the Australian Grand Prix Reynolds received the new FG X Falcon, and was competitive over the course of the weekend. Heading to the next championship round in Tasmania, Reynolds was confident in the car and showed this by being in the top seven cars for every session except the race on Sunday, having qualified in the top 5 for all three races. The two Saturday races brought 6th and 4th-place results, and for the Sunday race Reynolds started on the front row alongside Craig Lowndes. Reynolds made the better start of the two, but left enough of a gap for Craig to justify making a brash move down the inside of the second corner. Lowndes didn’t even look to be close to making the apex of the corner alongside Reynolds as he locked the inside front wheel and bashed into the #55’s rear door, spinning him around with Will Davison lucky to avoid the stricken Falcon on the grass. With good pace Reynolds made up spots and finished 11th, while Lowndes, after receiving a drive-through penalty for his efforts on the first lap, finished 6th. Reynolds said after the race ‘I left him some room on the inside, but he’s sort of took the piss and he’s spun me and ruined my race’. Reynolds consistent qualifying and race form continued, with top ten qualifying and race efforts becoming a commonplace for the #55. Reynolds finished no lower than 9th place across the Barbagallo and Winton rounds, with the 9th placing coming from the third race at Barbagallo, of which had it not been for an unfortunately timed safety car for the stricken #4 of Ash Walsh, would have most likely been a podium finish. Coming into the Hidden Valley round in 9th place in the championship, Reynolds had higher positions in his sights. Poor qualifying performances on the Saturday, despite breaking the lap record in practice the day previous, bred lowly race results of 16th and 10th with the former result coming about by a questionable passing manoeuvre from Jason Bright that put the #55 in the sand at the final corner while Reynolds was in 8th. On the Sunday, Reynolds qualified on pole for only the fifth time in his career. He lost the lead off the start to Fabian Coulthard, and then sat in second for the first part of the race. An error by Coulthard coming into turn 5, while lapping Reynolds’ team-mate Andre Heimgartner, saw the #14 run slightly wide and Reynolds and another team-mate Chaz Mostert capitalising on the error. The first three were in this order until the end, with the only hiccup being Reynolds going straight through the grass at turn 5 while trying to lap a slower Michael Caruso, he locked the outside front brake and slid off, only just managing to avoid the back of the #23. He rejoined without consequence as he gave the position back to Caruso, and continued on to his second career victory and first solo victory in V8 Supercar racing. After his consistent opening half of the championship, Reynolds sits in 7th place in the championship, only 15 points behind the 5th placed car of Shane van Gisbergen.

In November, Reynolds announced that he would leave Prodrive Racing Australia to drive for Erebus Motorsport for the 2016 season .

Jason Bright

Jason Bright

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Australia
Born in Moe, Victoria, Bright started his motor racing career at the age of 15 in 1988 and won the Junior Club Championship at the Gippsland Go Kart Club. One year later, Bright won the Senior Club Championships.

In 1990, Bright was the runner-up in the Victorian Go Karting Championship and he went on to win the championship in 1991.

1992 saw Bright move into single-seaters and into the Victorian Formula Ford Championship and finished fourth and dovetailed this with another go-kart campaign, finishing third overall in Australia.

Bright made his debut in the Australian Formula Ford Championship in 1993, in a factory supported Spectrum. In the season, he had a best finish of sixth at Symmons Plains, but in the Australian Formula Ford Festival at Winton, he finished second. Bright finished third in the 1994 Australian Formula Ford Championship, behind Steven Richards and Gavin Monaghan. He won the Formula Ford race supporting the Australian Grand Prix.

1995 was a fantastic season for Bright, winning the Australian Formula Ford Championship, winning the Australian Grand Prix support race and the Lexmark Indy 300 support race. He was also nominated for two major Australian awards.

He finished runner-up in the 1996 Australian Drivers’ Championship behind Paul Stokell, winning 3 races. But in 1997, Bright dominated that championship, winning seven races and made his V8 Supercar debut at Symmons Plains, finishing ninth, but better was to come as he finished third in the Sandown 500 with Alan Jones but failed to capitalise at Bathurst a few weeks later, finishing eleventh.

In 1998 Bright became a full-time touring car driver, joining Stone Brothers Racing, showing considerable promise with several top six performances and a third place at Calder Park. He and co-driver Steven Richards won the Bathurst Classic (the V8Supercar version of the Bathurst 1000 that year) coming back after Bright crashed heavily in practice and only being able to record a single flying lap in qualifying because of the extensive repairs.

In 1999, he had six podiums, including a win at Hidden Valley Raceway and three pole positions. He also took part in the sportscar race at Adelaide to bring in 2000 and finished third in class.

2001 saw Bright return to the V8 Supercar series after a stint in Champ Car competition (see below), with the multi-championship-winning Holden Racing Team. Bright won the season-opening Clipsal 500 and led for most of the first half of the season before fading to third. 2002 was another good season at HRT, with 2 wins and a pole.

2003 saw Bright move to Paul Weel Racing and consistency was the key to get him fourth in the standings. 2004 saw Bright win three races finishing third in the championship. Bright also won the 2003 Bathurst 24 Hour race in a Holden Monaro driving with the late Peter Brock, Greg Murphy and Todd Kelly. This car was run by rival V8 Supercar team Garry Rogers Motorsport.

Bright crossed marques in 2005 when he moved to Ford Performance Racing. Bright finished ninth overall for FPR.

Bright had an awful start to the 2006 season, finishing 15th and 25th in Adelaide. However he improved throughout the season, ending with a win at the Sandown 500 and the inaugural Desert 400 at the Bahrain International Circuit as well as podiums at Surfers Paradise and Symmons Plains.

For 2007 Bright left FPR to join his struggling Britek Motorsport team and battled in the mid field. After two seasons with funds tightening, Bright leased out one of his two Racing Entitlement Contracts and focussed on just one car. Further to the team cutbacks Bright came to an arrangement with Stone Brothers Racing to do vehicle preparation and but most of his team equipment and workshop on the market, effectively shutting down Britek as a racing team. His form gradually improved at SBR and jumped forward when his older Britek BF Falcon was replaced with a SBR FG Falcon picking up a third at the Sydney 500 and leading the race, but by this stage Bright’s major sponsor Fujitsu had announced they would be leaving the team.

Brad Jones Racing team owner, Kim Jones confirmed that Bright will be joining the team for the 2010 season.

Overseas
Bright’s first taste of international competition was in 1996, a hectic year in which he raced in both the United States and Australia. He won two races in the US Formula Ford 2000 Championship, at St. Petersburg and Mosport, finished second in the championship behind Steve Knapp and was awarded Rookie of the Year.

In 2000, Bright left Australia to join the Indy Lights series in America, where he had five podium finishes and finished sixth in the standings. He also made his Champ Car debut at the Lexmark Indy 300 that year.

In 2006, he drove for Prodrive in an Aston Martin at the Sebring 12 Hour finishing fourth. 2013 he made his debut at the Le mans 24 Hour race driving for 8 Star Motorsports. They finished 10th in class.

Braith Anasta

Braith Anasta

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Braith was born in 1982 in Sydney, New South Wales to a Greek father, Petros (“Peter”) who came from Rhodes, Greece and an Australian mother, Kim. While attending Marcellin College Randwick, Anasta played for the Australian Schoolboys team in 1999.After playing his junior football for the Maroubra Lions (a South Sydney junior club), Anasta joined the Bulldogs ahead of the 2000 NRL season. Braith announced his retirement live on Fox Sports on 16 August 2014.

Bulldogs
Despite spending a majority of his first season in Jersey Flegg, Anasta made his first grade début at the age of 18 on 2 June 2000 against the Parramatta Eels at Parramatta Stadium, filling in for the injured Jason Hetherington.This was the only first grade game Anasta played in 2000, however he had a great deal of success with the Bulldogs Jersey Flegg side, helping them to a premiership victory over the Western Suburbs Magpies.
Anasta’s breakthrough year came in the 2001 NRL season. He secured a regular place in the team at five-eighth, scored 13 tries in 24 games and helped the Bulldogs finish second on the ladder at the end of the season.His season finished disappointingly however, as he missed the Bulldog’s semi-final against the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks with a thumb injury. Despite this, his excellent form throughout the season earned him the Dally M Rookie of the Year Award and a spot on the 2001 Kangaroo Tour.
The 2002 season was one of turmoil for the Bulldogs, as they were stripped 37 competition points for breaching the salary cap. The impact was so heavy on the club that there was speculation that Anasta would switch codes and play rugby union if he was asked to take a pay cut by the Bulldogs.Despite this, the season was a good one for Anasta individually as he made his State of Origin debut, scored 10 tries and at 20 years and 145 days, became the youngest ever man to captain the Bulldogs.
In 2003, Anasta assisted the Bulldogs in coming out of the salary cap crisis as the club finished third on the ladder at the end of the season. While the season was indeed a relatively successful one for the Bulldogs, Anasta spent a fair amount of time on the sidelines, fracturing his sternum at the start of the season and fracturing his foot towards the end of the season.
The 2004 season saw Anasta claim his first premiership ring as the Bulldogs beat his future club, the Sydney Roosters, 16–13 in the 2004 NRL Grand Final to win their 8th title. Anasta was a vital player in the Bulldogs premiership season, playing 26 matches and scoring 8 tries, including one in the Preliminary Final against the Penrith Panthers.At the end of the season, speculation was once again strong that Anasta was going to switch codes to rugby union and play for the New South Wales Waratahs in 2005,however Anasta opted to stay with the Bulldogs.

As 2004 NRL premiers, the Bulldogs faced Super League IX champions, the Leeds Rhinos in the 2005 World Club Challenge. Anasta played at five-eighth in the Bulldogs’ 32-39 loss. 2005 was the final season of Anasta’s contract with the Bulldogs, and in a season that saw Anasta voted the “most overrated player” in rugby league by a League Week player’s poll,the Bulldogs failed to make the Top 8 the year after winning the premiership. It was in Round 18 of this season that Anasta scored his first and only hat-trick to date during the Bulldogs’ 26–24 win over the New Zealand Warriors at Mount Smart Stadium. Anasta played his final match for the Bulldogs on 4 September 2005 in a 32–12 loss to his future club, the Sydney Roosters.

Between 2000 and 2005, Anasta played 110 first grade matches for the Bulldogs, scoring 50 tries, kicking 2 goals and 10 field goals.
Roosters
After Anasta’s contract with the Bulldogs expired, the Sydney Roosters and the South Sydney Rabbitohs were seen as the two main contenders for his signature. The departure of Luke Ricketson, Michael Crocker, Jason Cayless, Chris Walker and Brett Firman ahead of the 2006 season allowed the Roosters to table a sizeable offer for Anasta. After months of speculation, on 13 July 2005 it was announced that Anasta had signed a 3-year deal with the Roosters. Anasta claimed his move to the Roosters wasn’t financially motivated and was “based upon the opportunity to work under Roosters and State of Origin Coach Ricky Stuart”.

Anasta made his debut for the Sydney Roosters on 12 March 2006 against the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Telstra Stadium. His first season with the Roosters was a forgettable one as he failed to score a try in 16 appearances and missed the last part of the season with a groin injury. The Roosters also performed well below par, finishing 14th on the ladder and missing the Top 8 for the second year in a row.

The 2007 season was an excellent one for Anasta, and one of improvement for his team. While Anasta was practising to play at lock under the guidance of former Roosters’ coach Chris Anderson during the pre-season, he only played the first game of the season there before shifting to his regular five-eighth position. After the Roosters lost their first 5 matches of the season, Anasta was instrumental in helping the side reach 9th on the ladder as the Roosters just fell short of reaching the finals. Anasta’s performances throughout the season were rewarded as he was nominated for Dally M Five-Eighth of the Year and won the Roosters’ prestigious Jack Gibson Medal for Player of the Year as well as the Supporters Club Player of the Year Award. In the Roosters’ final match of the 2007 season, Anasta attracted a fair amount of media attention after he was hit by South Sydney Rabbitohs forward David Fa’alogo in what he described as a “coward act”. After the end of the season, it was revealed that Anasta had signed a contract extension with the Roosters to keep him with the club until at least the end of the 2011 season.

Partnering Mitchell Pearce in the halves, the 2008 season got off to a good start for both the Roosters and Anasta. Prior to the round 25 match versus the South Sydney Rabbitohs, Anasta was give the captaincy of the club.

In 2009, Anasta was sidelined with a season ending ankle injury in round 15 against the North Queensland Cowboys.

In the 2010 season he started off in the five-eighth position combining to form a combination with Mitchell Pearce and Todd Carney which allowed the Roosters to have a firm hold on a top eight position. Mid-way through the season, Anasta was moved to the lock position to allow Todd Carney to play in the halves. In the first final game against the Wests Tigers, Anasta played in a new position at second row and scored the crucial field goal leading up to golden point. During the finals series, increased speculation about a possible move to the North Queensland Cowboys because of his want to play in the halves after Todd Carney and Mitchell Pearce forced him to move into lock. However, he soon dismissed these claims, saying that he wanted to be a “Rooster for life”

Anasta played in the 2010 NRL grand final and scored a try, but it was not enough for the Roosters to defeat the Dragons.

On 7 March 2011 Sydney Roosters Chairman, Nick Politis, announced the re-signing of club captain Braith Anasta ensuring he will stay at the club for the next two seasons. Just over a year later, it was announced that Anasta would join the Wests Tigers for two seasons starting from 2013. Anasta said of this period, “I was not enjoying my footy where I was and a lot of other guys weren’t, mind you. There wasn’t a huge commitment there from them.”

Wests Tigers
Originally Anasta was signed by coach Tim Sheens as a potential halfback, only for Sheens to be replaced by Mick Potter before the start of the 2013 season. “I got off to a bad start when Sheensy got sacked. He was the reason I came to the club and his sacking set me back straight away.” Anasta later said.

With Potter playing Anasta in the second row, Anasta said, “I never said I didn’t want to play back row. I said I preferred five-eighth, but I made a grand final and played some of my best football as a left-edge back-rower.” Later he admitted that he was surprised to find himself playing in unexpected positions, and only hit form towards the end of the season.

Anasta made his first appearance in Wests Tigers colours in a pre-season trial against Parramatta Eels. Playing in the second row and without captaincy responsibilities, he scored two tries in the first half of an easy victory. He played in eighteen games over the regular season, scoring one try.

Anasta announced his retirement from rugby league via his commentary role on FOX Sports 1’s NRL Super Saturday on Saturday 16 August 2014.ation needed] He played his last game for the Wests Tigers in Round 17 against the Penrith Panthers.

Mark O’Meley

Mark O’Meley

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O’Meley played with the Northern Lakes Warriors (previously Munmorah Maulers) on the New South Wales’ Central Coast.

O’Meley, nicknamed the Ogre or “Shrek” for his shaved head and burly figure, was first selected to represent New South Wales as a front-rower for game II of the 2001 State of Origin series. He has also represented in the 2002, 2004 and 2006 Origin series.

O’Meley played for the Bulldogs at prop forward in their 2004 NRL grand final victory over cross-town rivals, the Sydney Roosters.

O’Meley was selected in the Australian team to go and compete in the end of season 2004 Rugby League Tri-Nations tournament. In his first game he scored one try. In the final against Great Britain he played from the interchange bench in the Kangaroos’ 44-4 victory.

O’Meley participated in the 2005 and 2006 Tri-Nation series as well as Tests against France and New Zealand.

While originally not selected, he was selected for City in the City vs Country match on 8 May 2009, due to injury to another player.

He announced that he would be leaving the Roosters at the end of the 2009 NRL season to play in Europe’s Super League with English club Hull along with Roosters team-mates Craig Fitzgibbon and Jordan Tansey.

O’Meley was selected for the Exiles squad for the Rugby League International Origin Match against England at Headingley on 10 June 2011.

O’Meley agreed a one-year extension of his contract with Hull FC in September 2012, making him eligible to play for the 2013 Super League season.