Sport

Bronze gift for new baby twins

MEDAL REFLECTIONS: Former Ipswich rugby player James Stannard (third from right) receives his bronze medal as part of Austalia’s Sevens team at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
MEDAL REFLECTIONS: Former Ipswich rugby player James Stannard (third from right) receives his bronze medal as part of Austalia’s Sevens team at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Jeff J Mitchellgetty

SEEING her son claim a bronze medal for Australia at the Commonwealth Games was joy for Sharon Stannard.

But rugby has taken a back seat of late in the Stannard household.

James Stannard's wife Kim gave birth to nine-week premature twins a week before the Australian Sevens rugby side flew to Glasgow for the Games.

Kim had returned to Perth to be with her family while Stannard was in camp in Sydney with the Aussie squad, when twins Zara and Layla decided they didn't want to wait any longer.

It meant a sharp readjustment on a plane flight across the country for the 31-year-old from Karalee.

"He was just focusing," Sharon said. "He wasn't thinking about the sevens.

"He was only over there for four or five days."

Knowing the twins and Kim were okay, Stannard returned to Sydney for three days with his teammates before departing for Glasgow.

"He had to refocus with the twins, then refocus again for the sevens," Sharon said.

It has all happened so fast, Sharon wonders if Stannard has had a moment to take stock yet.

"It may not have all sunk in," she said.

"He was high on different levels.

"Being a first-time dad.

"I'm sure he's looking forward to the plane back home.

"He has a little family now to focus on."

Zara and Layla are doing well and will be three weeks old on Thursday.

After claiming Commonwealth Games silver in 2010, Stannard had spoken of his desire to add gold to his collection.

Stannard played in the gold medal match against New Zealand in Delhi, losing 24-17.

Australia gave itself a shot at revenge, getting through to the semi-final against New Zealand, thanks largely to Stannard.

In the quarter-final against Wales, the former St Edmund's College half pulled off a desperate match-saving tackle.

Wales led 19-14 with less than a minute remaining and seemed certain to seal it with a three-on-one overlap.

But Stannard made the tackle and soon after Pama Fou scored at the other end to level scores as the siren sounded.

Cameron Clark sealed the win for Australia with his conversion.

It meant another date with the All Blacks, who proved their class, beating Australia 19-7. South Africa beat New Zealand 17-12 in the gold medal match as Australia beat Samoa 24-0 to claim bronze.

James Stannard

  • Family home: Karalee.
  • School: St Edmund's College.
  • Club rugby: Brisbane Souths.
  • Super Rugby: Western Force, ACT Brumbies.
  • Commonwealth Games: Silver medal at Delhi in 2010 and bronze at Glasgow 2014.

Topics:  commonwealth games 2014



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