St Edmunds to grab spotlight
ST Edmund’s College has long been the under-achieving little brother of Ipswich Grammar School (IGS) when it comes to rugby union.
But little brother is growing up, as can be seen in recent results, future ambitions and a serious investment in the school from the Queensland Rugby Union (QRU).
Leading the rugby renaissance is St Edmund’s director of rugby Dave Miles.
“We had a great season last year, finishing in the top half of schools in the AIC (Associated Independent Colleges),” he said.
St Eddies get the chance to prove they have further improved when they take on Toowoomba Grammar School in a trial, as a curtain-raiser to the Queensland Reds versus South Africa’s Cheetahs at Suncorp Stadium on March 26.
Just the fact they have been offered the chance shows the powers that be at the QRU have acknowledged the school’s rise.
“It’s our first hit-out but hopefully the boys are ready to go,” Miles said.
“We are confident we’ll do well.
“We climbed rapidly last year and have programs in place in the junior school.”
The goal this season is top three finish in the AIC.
“We were fourth last year out of 15,” Miles said.
“We won a premiership in the 15A’s for the first time and a lot of them will contest the firsts this year.
“We have 11 level two coaches on the staff and there is a big emphasis on rugby.”
Having Queensland Reds players visit the school on Thursday is a further boost, and evidence of the QRU’s interest in the school.
Senior 1st XV player Shane Larkman is enjoying riding the school’s current rugby wave.
“With the older groups starting to have success, it’s definitely improving the younger grades,” he said.
Larkman’s expectations for this year’s AIC competition are higher than his coach’s.
“Definitely a premiership,” he said.
Before then he is determined to make the most of his opportunity to play at Suncorp Stadium before the Reds-Cheetahs game.
“It’s going to be unreal,” he said.
“I can’t wait.
“I’ve never played there before.
“It will be great to play in front of a crowd.”
Larkman is confident his team will provide Toowoomba Grammar with a serious challenge.
Visiting the school on Thursday was Reds rookie and former IGS student Albert Anae, who was happy to support his old school’s rival.
“It’s awesome being here and putting rugby on the map,” he said.
“Especially in Ipswich which is dominated by rugby league.
“It’s awesome to see St Edmund’s improving at rugby union.
“Hopefully they can give IGS a run for their money down the track.”