Rugby

Wallaby defies cystic fibrosis

2014-06-12 09:02
Nathan Charles (Getty Images)

Melbourne - Wallaby hooker Nathan Charles says he wants to be judged on his performance rather than a genetic disease he has defied to make the national team.

Charles, who is poised to make his Test debut when he starts on the replacements bench against France in Melbourne on Saturday, is a cystic fibrosis sufferer.

He is believed to be the only athlete with the condition in the world who is playing a professional contact sport.

Cystic fibrosis is a life-threatening genetic disease that primarily affects the lungs and digestive system.

Charles, 25, requires up to 28 pills and vitamins daily to manage his condition, but he said he does not want to take that into account on Saturday when he is expected to play some part in the second Test against the French.

"The thing I want to be judged on is my performance... rather than the disease I carry," he said ahead of the game.

"Mum and dad brought me up to set my goals high and (if) you want it, you have to go out and work hard to get it.

"I don't see why myself, or anyone else, should have limitations on what they can achieve in life because I reckon the only thing stopping you is yourself."

Wallaby coach Ewen McKenzie hailed Charles as a medical marvel.

"He (Charles) seems to defy science and logic," McKenzie told reporters.

"I think if anyone had not said anything to us, we would not have known (about his condition).

"I am glad it is out in the open and I think the best we can do to acknowledge him is to give him an opportunity on the field."

McKenzie said the Western Force hooker had leapfrogged the more-established James Hanson in the Wallabies' queue behind first-choice hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau on his own merits.

"He handles the medical side of it himself. There is nothing I notice or see - he just functions like everyone else," he said.

"I just deal with them as a footballer and he (Charles) has been a really good addition to the squad."

France lost the first Test in Brisbane 50-23. The final Test takes place in Sydney on June 21.

Teams:

Australia:

15 Israel Folau, 14 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Matt Toomua, 11 Nick Cummins, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nic White, 8 Ben McCalman, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Scott Fardy, 5 James Horwill, 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 James Slipper

Substitutes: 16 Nathan Charles, 17 Pek Cowan, 18 Laurie Weeks, 19 Luke Jones, 20 Scott Higginbotham, 21 Nick Phipps, 22 Kurtley Beale, 23 Pat McCabe

France:

15 Brice Dulin, 14 Yoann Huget, 13 Mathieu Bastareaud, 12 Wesley Fofana, 11 Maxime Medard, 10 Remi Tales, 9 Morgan Parra, 8 Damien Chouly, 7 Thierry Dusautoir (captain), 6 Yannick Nyanga, 5 Yoann Maestri, 4 Alexandre Flanquart, 3 Rabah Slimani, 2 Guilhem Guirado, 1 Alexandre Menini.

Substitutes: 16 Brice Mach, 17 Thomas Domingo, 18 Nicolas Mas, 19 Bernard Le Roux, 20 Louis Picamoles, 21 Antoine Burban, 22 Frederic Michalak, 23 Remi Lamerat

Read more on:    wallabies  |  rugby
NEXT ON SPORT24X

McCaw returns against Sharks

2014-07-24 07:27

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
2 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 
 
Featured Blog

Dave ask if you would like to meet your local sports heroes and stand the chance to win prizes to the value of over R40 000.

Latest blogs
Vote

We're down to four teams left in contention for the 2014 Super Rugby title. Who will be crowned champions?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

TV schedule Plan your couch time with our searchable sport TV guide

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.