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Wallabies great John Eales helps Bond's rising rugby stars strike a study-sport balance

August 2, 2017

Some of Bond University’s most promising young rugby stars have been given an exclusive mentoring workshop led by Wallabies great John Eales, as part of a prestigious scholarship program.

The former Australian captain mentors six Bond students, who have each been awarded the John Eales Rugby Excellence scholarship to study at the university.  

The scholarship is designed to provide a learning and training experience for young up-and-coming rugby talent, with recipients awarded a place in their degree of choice, given invaluable mentoring opportunities and a position at the Bond University Rugby Club.

In a special on-campus career mentoring session, John Eales shared his experience with the students of life after retiring from rugby stardom, providing sage advice on how to balance rugby and study.
The former Australian captain said he was impressed by the enthusiasm and dedication of the scholars.
“I think it is important to offer the students the opportunity to chat to someone who has been an amateur and then professional rugby player, and to know what they’ve got ahead of them,” he said.

“We need to make sure we nurture young talent so they have opportunities to play at all levels of the game, whether in club, provincial or national competition. 

“It’s a challenge to study three semesters a year and pursue a rugby career at the same time. 

“I think the important thing about study is that it gives you perspective. It is not what you learn, but recognising the importance of learning and being a lifelong learner.”   
Eales used his keen insight and experience to become a founding partner of Mettle Group, a company focussed on organisational culture and leadership, and now sits on the boards of Flight Centre Travel Group and Magellan Financial Group.

Among those at the on-campus workshop was Bond Business School student Angus Blyth, who started the scholarship program this year. 

The 19-year-old has combined commerce studies with a position in the Queensland Reds Under 20s, a spot in the Australian team for the Oceania Rugby Under 20s Championship and the Under 20 World Championship held in Georgia in June.

The scholarship has also helped Alex Mafi, 20, realise his rugby dream, landing a three-year contract at the Queensland Reds during his first year at Bond University in 2015. 

The official Education Partner of the Qantas Wallabies, Bond University offers the scholarship each year, extending its commitment to nurturing the sporting and career aspirations of outstanding rugby talent.