Sydney club rugby supporters would have felt quite nostalgic this week when they scanned the team lists for Saturdays opening round of the Shute Shield.
No.8 for Randwick: Christian Poidevin.
The 20-year-old back-rower is cut from the same cloth as his father Simon, who not only captained the Wallabies but won a World Cup and a Grand Slam as one of the finest players to don a gold jersey.
Christian never got to watch his dad play rugby, given he finished up with the Wallabies in 1991 after 59 Tests, mostly as an openside breakaway.
Like father like son, Christian enjoys lining up at No.7 but last seasons winning firsts colts captain will make his first-grade debut at No.8 instead.
It was a position occupied for many years by Wallabies coach Michael Cheika, who used to run around with Poidevin in the glory days.
“The first time he ever trialled for Randwick rep, which was in the under-10s at Latham Park, I thought this kid know where to go every time. Hes a natural back-rower,” Poidevin snr told the Herald.
Randwick are set to take on Eastwood at Coogee Oval in front of what is tipped to be a strong crowd on a sunny Sydney afternoon that marks the return of a competition many feel a real connection with.
Christian has been going there since he was old enough to put a footy under his arm and run.
He was about 10 years of age when he first trudged onto Coogee Oval for a game against a junior Easts rep team.
“It was played before first grade and all the hoons on the hill were going 'how good are these kids, they play Randwick rugby',” Simon said. “We just went down there and watched from the eastern side … theres nowhere better.”
Christian said: “The first time I played on here was a little five-minute half-time game. Being on the field and having the crowd around was an amazing feeling. You get a shiver down the spine and the adrenaline gets going.”
Poidevin snr actually made his first-grade debut for UNSW and first laced the boots for the Galloping Greens in 1982.
After a distinguished career, he is still heavily involved with the club and has watched Christian rise up the ranks from his days at Newington College.
Those who have watched the similarly built youngster say he has come on in leaps and bounds over the last two seasons, not only on the field but in a leadership capacity as well.
“The joke was always: hes living in his dads shadow,” Christian said. “It wasnt a bad sledge but I felt like footy came pretty easy. When you love it, its hard not to put 100 per cent in.
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