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How one phone call turned former Wallabies hooker into an Easts coach

Lachlan Roberts 10 April 2019

When Huia Edmonds said he would help in any way possible, he meant it. Photo: Supplied by Easts.

Former Wallabies hooker Huia Edmonds was enjoying retirement. He even admits the last thing he wanted to do was to get involved again in club rugby.

But then he received a phone call from an old friend and teammate Tim Cornforth, who asked him for help to bring Easts out of the wilderness.

After tossing the idea in his head, the former Brumbies, Waratahs and Stormers player decided to return to the sport for the simple reason of seeing the oldest rugby club in the nation’s capital succeed.

“I actually didn’t want to get back involved to be perfectly honest,” he said laughing. “I came back from overseas and I was living in the area across from the old Brumbies and I got a phone call from Timmy saying that he is struggling with coaches and players coming to the club.

“To make this competition worthwhile, there needs to be an Easts in this competition so I said I am happy to help out in any way possible.

“I have been the forward’s coach since then.”

And when Edmonds, who was born in New Zealand but has represented Australia at every level from schoolboy upwards, said he would help in any way possible, he meant it, even contemplating lacing up the boots for one more run.

“He did ask me to strap on the boots but I said no to that,” he said. “I was going to have a game this year but I ruptured my Achilles so my wife has called it quits. She is telling me to stick to golf.

“I have enjoyed it thoroughly though. We have a great bunch of guys and a women’s team within the club. We are just wanting to build the club from what it was from last year to a little bit higher.

“If we don’t have grassroots, this game will not survive so I want to help this team in any way possible.”

It was a baptism of fire for Edmonds in his first game, as his side was annihilated 74-5 by the highflying Eagles. The 39-year-old said he was not fazed by the result and believed it will only require cleaning out some cobwebs before the side would be competitive with the competition’s best.

“It wasn’t the first match that we wanted, especially at the start of the competition,” he said. “We have got a few cobwebs that we need to get rid of and we spoke about that after the game.

“We know that is not the way we wanted to play during the season, so hopefully against Royals we can get rid of those cobwebs.

“Easts did so well last year compared to previous years and we don’t want to take a backward step. We need to move forward and start to build this team and get up with the big boys so that we can make this competition worthwhile.”

John I Dent Cup Round Three
Easts vs Royals
Griffith Oval
3:05 pm, 13 April


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