Josh Condon will play his 15th season for the Southern Cross University Rats.
Josh Condon will play his 15th season for the Southern Cross University Rats. Blainey Woodham

Rats rank up high

JOSH Condon has suffered a stack of injuries in rugby union playing for the Southern Cross University Gold Rats over the years.

He has injured both knees, his upper and lower back, dislocated a shoulder and fingers, broken ribs and a sternum and had "the odd concussion ... some of which I can't remember".

But that comes with the territory when you are about to enter your 15th season of Coopers Far North Coast Rugby Union.

Condon has been the life of the Rats during his time, whether that has been filling in to play in the backs or forwards or coaching the second graders.

That is not to mention being at the forefront of club parties and of course, his toughness.

Last year Condon was knocked over by a chest infection which meant he only played two games.

"When I first got back into running I was flat out lasting 300 metres," he said.

"It's been a long trip back but I'm feeling good now."

It is not like Condon, 32, is not accustomed to coming back from adversity.

"My knees have been so bad at times it's not like they can get any worse," he said.

"So you just call for a bit more tape on them before you play.

"A few times I've come back early out of stupidity but I just love playing. Win, lose or draw we always have a good time at the Rats."

This has remained the case in recent years when the side has finished near or on the bottom of the ladder.

"It's one of the things every old Rats player talks about whenever I bump into them," Condon said.

"They always say how good a time they had at the club."

Condon said the celebrations were massive after winning the 2002 first-grade grand final.

"We were supposed to tidy up the ground the next day but instead we just turned it into a big party session which lasted a week and we kicked on at most of the boys' places," he said.

"We have a masters and newcomers theme and my brother Adam was my master in my first year at the club.

"We all had a good time and he made sure I got home alright."

Adam is a fellow long servant of the Rats and together the brothers won second-grade grand premierships in 1999 and 2000 and their father Larry also played for the University team.

Meanwhile, Condon is confident the Rats can improve on last year where they came last in first grade and second-last in second grade.

"We've got some older guys that retired but said they will come back," he said.

"They'll bring a good spirit to the club."



Unusually hot: Temperatures to nudge 30 degrees

premium_icon Unusually hot: Temperatures to nudge 30 degrees

From the coldest day of the month straight into hot winter weather

Family ask why police stopped searching for Damien so soon

Family ask why police stopped searching for Damien so soon

"Damien was a devoted father ... his passing has devastated us all"

Sorry Queensland, but you're missing out (again)

Sorry Queensland, but you're missing out (again)

Over the border they're debating daylight saving for the 657th time

Local Partners