Ricky Stuart’s son has been chosen to play rugby sevens for Australia.
Jed Stuart, 20, flew with the national team to Dubai this week and is now set to become an Olympian in Paris 2024.
Aussie coach Tim Walsh said he was unaware Stuart was linked to the famous Raiders coach when he spotted the 193cm talent in a seven-a-side competition earlier this year.
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Walsh pointed out that Stuart, who is a second rugby union rower, was chosen on merit and not because of his last name. His father is 175cm tall and is considered one of the best running backs in the rugby league.
“Someone said to me, ‘He’s Ricky Stuart’s son.’ And I said, ‘No it’s not, Jed is six foot four, there’s no way it could be,’ “Walsh said. News Corp.
“Ricky was a running back. I didn’t know there was this family connection.
“I absolutely respect Ricky, but I didn’t even know he was Jed’s father.
“So at this point, Jed got here completely by his own abilities and the way he played.”
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Rugby Union is no stranger to Stuart’s name. Stuart’s father was an Australian schoolboy in both the League and the Union and toured with the Wallabies famous in 1987.
He then moved on to the rugby league and launched a stellar career with the Raiders, first as the club’s No.7 and now as a coach.
Next year’s Commonwealth Games are Stuart’s long-term goal, but for now he just wants to solidify his place on the team.
“I’m always looking for things to get over daddy so maybe this is it,” he said.
“It’s obviously in the back of my mind, I would love to be a part of these teams, but honestly, I just want to experience this tournament in Dubai.
“I have to do the big jobs and prove myself before anything else.”
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Stuart pointed out that his father had never pressured him in any sport, joking the Raiders coach is as cranky as people think.
“He’s really supportive. He’s never been insistent on what we do, ”said Stuart Canberra weather.
“He says, ‘Play sports, do whatever you want. He is proud of all of us. [My brother] Jack with his uni, [my sister] Emma is doing very well with her house and obviously he is proud of me to have had the chance to go.
“He’s very supportive – not as cranky as everyone thinks he is.”