Ben's lucky, and not-so lucky breaks
IF not for an innocent mistake by his mother, former junior Wallaby and up-and-coming junior Waratah Ben Coridas, could have been lost to rugby league.
Coridas had just moved from Melbourne to Alstonville and a mate at school suggested that he join his junior rugby league team.
Not knowing the difference between the rival rugby codes, Coridas' mother accidentally enrolled him with the Wollongbar-Alstonville rugby union club.
“I got dropped off at training and my mate wasn't there and I was thinking 'what's going on here?' But I guessed that it turned out for the better,” Coridas said.
“I'm always teasing my mother about it but I guess that it was just a lucky accident.”
Coridas wasn't feeling too lucky when he snapped an anterior cruciate playing for the West Sydney Rams in the Australian Rugby Championship.
Seven months on the sidelines, a lot of rehab, physio and weight training later, he's just completed a half-season of club rugby in Sydney with Eastwood and will now concentrate on pre-season training with the NSW Waratahs.
“Chris Hickey is our new coach and at pre-season training he's told me to hang around Phil Waugh and learn as much as I can off him,” he said.
“The tips you get off Phil Waugh as a flanker can take your game to a whole new level.
“He's helped me with my running lines and getting to that first breakdown.”
Coridas is returning to the local area this weekend to attend the junior rugby union grand final at Lyle Park in Wollongbar.
It's something that the 20-year-old likes doing to give back to the rugby community which nurtured him.
“I try and get back to Alstonville as much as I can because I just find it so peaceful and relaxing,” he said.
“It kind of makes everything real and puts it into perspective.
When I was little, I kind of hoped I would get there one day and if I can show the local kids that they can make that happen, that's a positive thing.
“I reckon there are heaps of kids out at Wollongbar that are talented.”