Symonds takes to rugby league

June 22nd, 2009 - 5:48 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, June 22 (IANS) Andrew Symonds swapped the green and gold jersey of the Australia cricket team for the green and red of Wynnum-Manly to fulfil his dream of playing a senior rugby league match.
Symonds has been stripped of his central contract by Cricket Australia (CA) and now the Queenslander is free to play rugby which was deemed too risky for his physical well-being when he was a contracted player.

Symonds was always passionate about rugby and at one point in his career considered giving up cricket to try out for the Brisbane Broncos.

On Sunday, he made a surprise appearance at Kougari Oval, near Brisbane, against a Men Of League All Stars team which included former Test centre Steve Renouf, former Melbourne Storm premiership winger Marcus Bai and Manly star Ben Kennedy.

It was a friendly game but Symonds felt the pressure to perform in front of spectators including former Queensland teammates Jim Maher and Andrew Bichel.

“I couldn’t sleep last night,” Symonds was quoted as saying by the Herald Sun.

Symonds, though nervous, gave the packed crowd some glimpses of his potential. He was playing win in the first half and was also jeered by the crowd when he dropped first pass that came his way, but then he proceeded to play well.

He also could have scored but generously unloaded to teammate David Green who touched down under the posts.

Former St George hooker Trevor Bailey liked Symonds’ style.

“He has got a bit of pace and strength - if he had played league he would have played wing or centre and being the athlete he is might have done well,” Bailey said.

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