2022 Colin Caird Shield GF: Meet the Teams – Eastern Suburbs


Eastern Suburbs 2nd Grade captain Max Patterson takes us through the matchday squad
for tomorrow’s Colin Caird Shield grand final showdown against Sydney University…


All photos by SPA Images

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1. HUGO HAYMAN: ‘Hey-Man’ – Hugo had an immediate return to the starting team after a mid-season girls trip to Europe, sponsored by 2022 Budgy Smuggler’s Most Ordinary Rig. This firebrand prop has been a considerable inclusion heading into the business end of the season as his ‘back-like’ ball skills and elite scrummaging have been critical in our finals campaign.

2. JULIAN HEAVEN: ‘Jules’ – As much as everyone in this team thinks they are professional rugby players Julian actually has a resume to back it up. After enjoying the pro French rugby circuit, Julian couldn’t ignore a few free Hahn Superdry’s as well as oversized footy shorts that the Beasties had to offer. Julian’s professional skill-set has been vital since joining us mid-season and he will be looking for a strong performance come Saturday.

3. WILL FOXTON: ‘Foxy’ – Don’t look at his right ear as it resembles a dropped meat pie. With the dress sense of a GPS rugby dad Foxy brings energy to the set-piece, especially at scrum time. It seems those countless one-on-one sessions and late-night phone calls with 1st Grade coach Simon Kneebone have started to pay off.

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4. TIM NICHOLLS: ‘Tickles’ – Ever need to get kicked out of a licensed premises? Tim is your man. Having the self control of a chimpanzee on ecstasy, Tim makes up for his usual off-field indiscretions with brutal defence and strong ball carrying. This weekend he plans to show us he is more than just a famous last name.

5. WILL NICHOLLS: ‘Wickles’ – Window washer, primary school teacher, NBA future rookie and lineout specialist. Like the Hulk, once Will takes off his Specsavers glasses he turns into a complete animal. Has earned his role as leader of this ‘intelligent’ forward pack.

6. ARCHIE GAVIN: ‘Son of Tim’ – He’s had more pilfers than showers this bloke and can best be compared to a cross between Richie McCaw and Corey Worthington. When he’s not arguing with the Nicholls brothers over whose family is more famous at Easts, he’s leading the team with his dynamic ball running and elite ruck work. Will be a huge factor if we are to succeed this weekend.

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7. JAMES DONATO: ‘Brother of Dan’ or ‘Parassita’ – Italian for pest. Jimmy is another overseas inclusion to the team that has been crucial to reaching this grand final. He’s known as an ‘orc’ to most of Manly’s north shore media, but we tend to disagree as we think he is a cross between a hedgehog and Matt Lodge.

8. WILL MacPHERSON: ‘D**k fingers’ – A member of the Sydney Uni Colts Hall of Fame. If you don’t find this bloke on Snapchat or Instagram you’ll find him at the back of the scrum. Some say once Will catches the ball he is a very lethal ball runner, he just needs to catch it first. He will be looking to have a huge impact on Saturday as he will want to get one up on his former club.

9. ALEX WALLINGTON: ‘AJ’ – AJ would give most postmen a run for their money with his elite delivery of the nut. The self-proclaimed Sam Walker of the team, we are expecting a big shift from AJ on Saturday as his service will be crucial to the boys success.

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10. MAX PATTERSON (c): ‘Brother of Hugo’ – Our fiery leader, known to see red both figuratively and literally when it comes to Sydney Uni, Max will be nothing but cool, calm and collected come Saturday. We are expecting a big performance from him before, during and well after the game.

11. BLAKE RIXON: ‘Ricko’ – A ref’s best friend. The Taane Milne of the team, when Ricko is not spraying a ref, a ball boy, a parent or a teammate he is flying down the wing like Anamoe in the last at Randwick. Ricko’s aggression and speed is vital to this team and he will be looking to maintain his impeccable try-scoring record on the weekend.

12. LACHLAN BRADFORD: ‘Bradders’ – The only good thing to come out of Maitland, NSW. Although not one person has seen Lachie practicing his goal kicking this year, his perfect record has him being compared to the likes of Hazem El Masri, Jonny Wilkinson and Jake Tierney. His lethal step and calm head will be crucial to the boys performance on Saturday.

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13. LOGAN BELL: ‘Slogan’ – White guys with Maori tattoos….HOT! Coming from across the ditch Logan is a lot more than a supreme nut trucker. He will be looking for a big performance this weekend to make him the most successful Kiwi at the club.

14. WILL PATERSON: ‘Brother of Henry’ – Is more passionate about this team/club than a vegan activist outside a butcher. Our veteran 100-plus gamer will make sure you know about a drop ball or a bad pass, however, he will also be the first bloke to celebrate a try. His finals experience will be a huge influence on Saturday.

15. NIC SHANNON: ‘Sharon’ – The definition of silent but deadly, the Kid from Cootamundra lets his footy do the talking, and by God does it have a lot to say. They say Ryan Papenhuyzen is a poor man’s Nic Shannon, and we couldn’t agree more.


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16. JOSHUA SMITH: ‘Smithy – Sydney Grammars’ favourite son. With a Sonny Bill-like offload and sniper-like throwing come lineout time, Josh has been in and out of the team after being demoted to 1st grade for a few games this year. We hope Josh doesn’t bring his Sydney Grammar finals experience into Saturday’s game, but does bring his usual A game.

17. BEN CULLEN: Benny the Beast’ – The boy from Cork, Ireland. Benny has been voted the hottest guy in the team, closely edging out second-placed teammate and IMG model Charlie Smith. Benny’s Irish-like defence and technical scrummaging ability is invaluable, and will be a huge addition in the second half.

18. CHARLIE SMITH: ‘Brother of Billy’ – If you have been to any shopping centre of late you may have noticed your other half staring at this blokes mug on a Bonds billboard. After narrowly coming second in the 2nd Grade hottest player vote to Ben Cullen, ‘Squint’ had to put his focus elsewhere and that focus shifted towards being ready for this grand final – and ready to go he is.

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19. FLYN KILBY: ‘Killer’ – Surprised the Netflix series ‘Catching a Killer’ hasn’t done a season on Flyn. He looks like Sheldon Cooper from ‘Big Bang Theory’, however, after watching him on the rugby field you come to the realisation that ‘The Undertaker’ from WWE is more appropriate.

20. SEB STRANG: ‘Brother of Theo’ – A cross breed of Aaron Smith and a mime, Seb is another silent assassin. The boys all thought he was a quiet tough guy until his recent admittance that his favourite song is ‘Firework’ by Katy Perry meant that was quickly dismissed. Seb’s impact off the bench will be invaluable on Saturday, and he will be looking to get the win in his last game for Easts before he heads off to London.

21. XAVIER RYAN: ‘Brissy’ – Surprised we could get him to provide us with a bench role this week as the team DJ has denied a 12pm set time at The Golden Sheaf to play. With kick returns like James Tedesco, Xav is just another great impact player to join our bench.

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22. JAMES BEHRINGER: ‘Big Tep’ – This bloke just loves to carry and carry hard. We couldn’t find another spot on the bench for his dog ‘Roy’ as he is normally biting players all week at training. Bez will be looking to ‘punish’ the defensive line late in the game.

23. JOSH HARDIE: ‘Friend of James Donato’ – I’m sure he will cop enough s**t from the Uni sideline so we’ll go easy on him. His tight relationship with his aforementioned teammate has definitely confirmed why he has come to the Tricolours. He will be stinging to get on the field on Saturday and play with his favourite Donato brother.


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