Speedster Shipperley ready for Wallabies
Queensland speedster Dom Shipperley says his match-winning Super Rugby try in round one against NSW helped turn him from Reds back-up into Wallaby-in-waiting.
The junior schoolboys athletics champion didn’t have to do a great deal to clinch that miraculous win for Queensland after the fulltime siren at ANZ Stadium – except run fast.
But that’s what Shipperley does best, and it’s got the winger to the verge of a Wallabies debut against Scotland in Newcastle on Tuesday.
In a full-strength Queensland line-up at the start of the season, Shipperley wouldn’t have made the defending premiers’ run-on side.
But after seizing his opportunity and playing every minute of every match for the Reds in 2012, the Australian Conference leading try-scorer says he’s confident he can make an impact if, as expected, he’s handed a Test debut.
“It (Waratahs match-winner) was a good launch pad for the season, that being round one and such a big game I felt like I got a lot of momentum for the season,” Shipperley said on Thursday of his round one heroics.
“It makes you feel like you can do stuff like that at the higher level which is pretty comforting.”
When the 21-year-old was timed running 10.3 metres per second by the Reds’ GPS tracking system, coaching staff put it down as a malfunction.
But after he hit the mark repeatedly at training the next week, Queensland knew they’d found a player with that rare quality you can’t teach.
Shipperley ran the 110m hurdles in 13.97 seconds when just 16 years of age, and seriously considered a career in track and field.
However, after being picked in the Australian schools team, Shipperley chose rugby and hasn’t looked back since.
Having gone to school with several Wallabies train-on squad members including James O’Connor, Joe Tomane and Jesse Mogg and amongst so many Queensland teammates, Shipperley even feels somewhat at home in the Australian camp.
The Reds’ Super Rugby bye week has also helped him focus on the job at hand.
“It’s a lot easier walking in and knowing a lot of guys and knowing how they play off the field as well,” said Shipperley.
“If I was playing a game this weekend I’d feel a bit overwhelmed by it all … I’ve had a whole lot less to worry about.”© AAP 2013
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