DEVELOPING SKILLS: West Moreton Anglican College 1st XV rugby team training.
DEVELOPING SKILLS: West Moreton Anglican College 1st XV rugby team training. David Nielsen

Committed teacher in for the long haul

GRAND plans are one thing, but having the energy and attention to detail to complete them another entirely.

It is why the fruits of Ben O'Connell's labour at West Moreton Anglican College will not be fully realised for many years.

"The hardest part is probably just getting to know the boys at the school and the different expectations they have and commitment," the school's director of rugby said. "It's not ingrained in the culture yet."

O'Connell hopes that by the time the current grade sevens have reached grade 12 the program is ingrained. That is five years away, but O'Connell was always in it for the long haul.

"We'll see where we're at then," he said.

O'Connell has been Ipswich's premier cricket for a number of years, leading the way to guide Queensland Country to the national country title in January.

But he also grew up with a passion for rugby union and played for Ipswich Rangers.

"It's my other area of expertise," O'Connell said.

"If something involving cricket eventuates I'll be happy to contribute."

His rugby role also provides O'Connell with a welcome diversion from cricket.

"It's something that keeps my mind off cricket," he said.

Unfortunately it also keeps him away from his family more than he'd like.

O'Connell's fiancée Amelia Jackwitz is also heavily involved in junior sport.

The Silkstone State School teacher is coaching the Met West under-12 basketball team at the state titles.

So both know about making sacrifices to help kids make the most of their school sport.



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