Rugby royalty makes promise to Goats
RUGBY UNION: The Gladstone Goats were graced by Australian rugby royalty last night when former Wallabies centre, Tim Horan made a guest appearance at training.
Horan is in Gladstone to promote the Botanic to Bridge and to make school visits on behalf of Santos GLNG and Gladstone Ports Corporation.
Looking almost as fit as he did during his playing days, Horan spent some quality time with the improving Goats, who have won three out of their last four games, including a 37-8 victory last weekend over the previously undefeated Dawson Valley Drovers.
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And Horan said he liked what he saw from the Goats.
"I had about an hour and a half run with the guys then had something to eat afterwards," Horan said.
"It was good to see where they are at. They had a good win last week against Moura (Dawson Valley Drovers) who were undefeated. They've got a couple more games before they potentially make the grand final.
"I said to the guys last night if they make the grand final, I'll come back up and watch it and be water boy."
Horan, 47, strapped the boots on at Grufs training and ran his eye over the backline, while Gladstone coaches Sam Carey and Jonathon Dalton took care of the forwards.
"He came down and introduced himself to the guys and just wanted to be there to be a part of the session," Carey said.
"He didn't take over or do anything like that. He just said do your normal session and he'd take the backs for a bit of a run and then joined in the team run at the end.
"He passed on little tips and ideas and watched the boys play the game and how they read the game.
"(The backs) ran their moves and talked about some counter attacks and what they should be looking at.
"They all seemed to come away with a lot from it and that was the idea. Everyone seemed thrilled and stoked."
Carey said the Goats had known about Horan's visit for a number of weeks but kept it under wraps.
"We just wanted to keep it internal to reward the senior guys who have been committed for the year," he said.
"A lot of the time when we do these things it's all about the kids and the juniors, and the guys who have actually been slogging it out doing the hard yards tend to get overlooked.
"He was just like any other player at training. He let myself and (assistant coach) Jon (Dalton) coach and had a few side chats with him about what we're trying to do and he made a few suggestions about things we should be aware of and the style of game we're trying to play and what he should watch out for and he identified those.
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"I can't thank Gladstone Ports Corporation and Santos GLNG enough and especially Tim for making himself available. It's very rare we see the calibre of these people come through.
"The whole way he handed the night was fantastic."