DateLine: 23rd June 2009
Troubled Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds made a surprise appearance at Kougari Oval, near Brisbane, to fulfill his dream of playing a senior rugby league match.
He swapped the green and gold of Australia for the green and red of Wynnum-Manly to take the field against a Men of League All Stars team which included former Test centre Steve Renouf, former Melbourne Storm premiership winger Marcus Bai and Manly star Ben Kennedy.
Symondsí Cricket Australia contract was ripped up for breaking team rules. This though means that he is free to play sports deemed too risky for his physical well-being when he was a contracted player.
It was only a gently-paced semi-social game but Symonds felt some pressure to perform in front of spectators including Queensland Bulls teammates Jim Maher and Andrew Bichel.
"I couldn't sleep last night," Symonds, who gave a crowd of several hundred fans some glimpses of his potential, told the Herald Sun.
Symonds did well apart from the first pass which he dropped and was playfully jeered by the crowd. In the dying minutes he found space up the middle of the ruck to scoot away and could have scored himself but generously unloaded to teammate David Green who touched down under the posts.