10 Apr Touch of Irish
Irish loosehead prop Jim Nolan still wonders what hit him when he turned out for the Whites and ended up being kicked in the head by a female spectator.
In what was one of the ugliest scenes ever seen in ACT Rugby, the Queanbeyan first grade and officials could not leave the dressing shed as the opposition’s renegade spectators shouted out threats.
The female spectator was banned from all rugby for two years.
Coach Kim Thurbon imported the 113 kilo Nolan in 2003, who arrived with partner Niamh, to add to the club’s off field with their humour and sense of celebration.
Nolan commented on his first night at training:
“I thought it was a lovely night, but the other players were whinging about the cold. In the sheds Thurbon turned on the heaters and I had to strip down as I was sweating buckets.”
Two Canadian forwards also joined the club, Jon Fast and Tyler Evans, as coach Thurbon went about building depth and a bit of international flavour.
At the end of May 2003, the first-grade team was:
Jim Nolan, Glen Stumbles, Mark McEvilly, Dave Watts, Dave McGilvray, Adam Fahey, Sean Debenham, Matt Hirst, Tim Hawke, Stu Eagles (captain), Peter Davies, Andrew Heydon, Aaron McInnes, Andrew Radnedge and David Fitzpatrick.