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100 Life Changing Moments: Luck comes two wide of the ruck

Brumbies flyer Robbie Coleman at the new Brumbies HQ at the University of Canberra. (PIC: Caden Helmers)

Brumbies flyer Robbie Coleman at the new Brumbies HQ at the University of Canberra. (PIC: Caden Helmers)

A stroke of luck came with Robbie Coleman’s timely move to playing two wide of the ruck.

A schoolboy star at Fly Half, dominant performances at that level earned Coleman a spot in the Australian Schoolboys team, and had him touted for higher honours.

The immediate future didn’t quite pan out as smoothly as Coleman would have hoped, and it saw him miss out on the Australian Under 20’s trials.

Though things were about to turn for the Queanbeyan product as he capitalised on an opportunity thrust upon him by the Brumbies Academy.

“Representing Australia through school got me my Academy chance at the Brumbies. I really realised then that to make it to the next level you need a bit of luck,” said the former Australian Sevens representative.

“I was playing a lot of 10, and 12 got injured before a Brumbies Academy game. I’d just turned 18 and they threw me straight into 12. I was lucky enough that day [the Australian 20s coach] was here in Canberra and I managed to score 5 tries.

After that game I got call from the Under 20s coach and he said ‘I’m going to name the Aussie 20s side, and you are a shadow player’.”

The St Edmunds student was right on the verge of cracking the side and playing alongside future Wallabies in Nic White, Matt Toomua, and Kurtley Beale. Just a touch of luck was needed.

It came when incumbent 20s player James O’Connor was fast-tracked into the Wallabies line-up, seeing Coleman flown into Australian Under 20s camp on the back of his successful switch to Inside Centre.

Coleman credits his family and Brumbies Academy Darren Coleman coach for his success at Inside Centre. “There are times in Academy when you feel like you’re not going anywhere, but good family support kept me working hard, and a coach that believed in me.”

So what’s next for Robbie Coleman?

“I’m not too sure. All I’m focused on is playing my best footy, and that will take care of itself.”

With a little luck, it could be that green and gold jersey.

To hear Robbie Coleman discuss his life changing moment, press play below.

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