Flanker Beau Robinson was one of the many success stories of the Queensland Reds’ incredible Super Rugby season. The hard-hitting forward has now been called up to the Wallabies, and this hit perhaps exemplifies why.
While skimming through this season’s Reds matches to compile a best tries compilation, I came across this beauty from Beau, a tackle that he made on Cheetahs loose forward Kabamba Floors in Round 6 of this year’s Super Rugby competition.
Robinson has come a long way to get where he’s at now, and his story is quite unique, as not a lot of players travel the same path that he has, and have to experience the same hardships.
Last year, in 2010, Robinson was playing third division rugby in Italy. He’d previously played for the Waratahs, but playing second fiddle to Phil Waugh hadn’t worked out. It was a conversation with his late brother Dan that inspired him to give things another crack. “My brother made it pretty clear: ‘You’re a (‘effing’) idiot if you don’t go back and have a crack’.”
When Dan died tragically when crossing train lines after a London night out, Robinson was jerked into gear and realised that he needed to prove to both his brother, and himself, that he could make it at the highest level.
“That’s been my driving motivation. If it wasn’t this year, it would have been never.”
After working as a garbage man and studying in Sydney, he exchanged a few emails with Reds coach Ewen Mackenzie, who said that he couldn’t offer him a contract, but if he trained with the squad and performed, he might have a chance. That was enough. Robinson packed everything into his car, and made the 13 hour drive to Queensland.
“The trusty Holden Commodore mate,” Robinson said. “I needed a car so, yeah, we just drove up. I didnt take a bed or anything, just the footy gear really.” He apparently worked in a bar for a while, to make ends meet, but has since come on in such a way that the Reds have given him a two year contract, and just this week, he was selected for the Wallabies squad.
Life has turned around for Robinson, and despite having taken a while to find his place, he’s now happy to be with the Reds, playing fearless rugby, and now calling Brisbane home.
“I’ve still got the NSW plates. Never got around to changing em. Probably should eh?”
The Reds beat the Crusaders to win the 2011 Super Rugby title
Jerry Collins gets hit and hurt by Beau Robinson (2008)