Queensland Reds players Van Humphries and Albert Anae visit Ipswich Grammar School yesterday when signing posters for eager students.
Queensland Reds players Van Humphries and Albert Anae visit Ipswich Grammar School yesterday when signing posters for eager students. Rob Williams

Reds hooker repays Grammar

MEETING his former school teachers was surprisingly a highlight for burly Queensland Reds hooker Albert Anae when he returned to his former stomping grounds at Ipswich Grammar School yesterday.

Anae was a star at Grammar in the mid-2000s.

Yesterday, the New Zealand-born player met and signed autographs for the school’s next crop of rugby guns alongside Reds team mate Van Humphries.

Anae also visited St Edmund’s high school last week as well and said he enjoyed the community side of a professional sporting career. “I like meeting the kids and getting them involved in rugby. I look forward to doing these things,” Anae said amidst a swathe of youngsters clamouring for his attention.

“I have a lot of good memories here at IGS.

“Seeing all my old teachers has been good actually. I enjoyed my time here at Grammar.

“I was just a day student but they taught me a lot of things about life, not just education and sport.”

Anae played in the same Grammar first XV as Rod “Rocket” Davies who is now his team mate at the Reds.

Davies was a member of the Wallabies 2010 northern hemisphere tour squad.

But he didn’t get a look into the Test side while on tour, playing the two mid-week matches against Munster and Leicester.

But Davies is still the fastest player in the Reds squad, clocking 4.6 seconds for 40m.

Anae said Davies was in line for a breakout season that may end up with him being given a ticket to the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand in six months.

“Rod would have got a lot of confidence out of his season last year and touring with the Wallabies,” Anae said.

“He’s injury-free now and he’s been training great so I expect him to be one of the stars of the whole Super 15 competition.”

Anae said the depth in the Reds’ squad would see them reach the finals in the new look Super 15 conference which pits Australian teams against each other for the first half of the season, before the teams venture abroad in the second half.

“Every team is aiming for the finals obviously but we do think we can get there because our whole team is fit this season,” Anae said.

“But even if we do have injuries, we have the depth to cover them this year.”

The Reds kick off their 2011 campaign against the Western Force on Sunday at 4pm at Suncorp Stadium.



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