Wallabies in class of their own - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Wallabies in class of their own

By Michael Donaldson 29/05/2003 05:53:06 AM Comments (0)

It was like the first day back at school as the Australian rugby team traipsed into Camp Wallaby in Coffs Harbour to start the long preparation towards the World Cup examination at the end of the year.

The first day at the live-in training centre involved medical examinations, a series of meetings - including how to handle the media - and outfitting.

"It is like the first day at school, or any other institution," coach Eddie Jones said.

"They get their new school bags, and uniforms, and meet their new teachers and learn a few of the rules."

The idea of a live-in camp for the Wallabies sprouted from Rod MacQueen's early days as ACT Brumbies coach.

MacQueen, Jones' predecessor at both the Brumbies and the Wallabies, helped build a perennial Super 12 challenger from some cast-offs by getting them all under the one roof in an apartment building which became known as rugby's Melrose Place.

The idea was extended to the Wallabies and the initial Camp Wallaby was in Caloundra on Queensland's Gold Coast.

But an offer from Pacific Bay resort in Coffs Harbour was too good to turn down and Wallabies moved south - leaving themselves well removed from the hustle and bustle of either Sydney or Brisbane.

There, out of the glare of cameras, the Wallabies can live, eat, train, and sleep rugby.

"We get good focus here," Jones explained.

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