Three generations of champions for UQ Rugby
Three generations of one family have now played in premiership-winning rugby sides for the University of Queensland, after the club won the inaugural Wheelchair Rugby National League.
Bachelor of Exercise and Nutrition Science student Conor Tweedy is a member of the University of Queensland Rugby Club wheelchair team which defeated long-time UQ rivals Brothers in last Sunday’s final game of the competition at Brisbane’s Boondall Entertainment Centre.
“So many of my family have played for UQ – my granddad and then my Dad, my brother and cousins, so it’s pretty special,” Mr Tweedy said.
He’s become the third generation of the family to win a premiership for UQ, with his grandfather Michael Tweedy part of the Reserve Grade winning side in 1956.
Conor’s father, Associate Professor Sean Tweedy from UQ’s School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences won three first grade premierships with UQ in 1988-90 and went on to play for the Queensland Reds.
His brother Seamus was a member of the UQ Colts 1 premiership-winning side in 2017.
Family cousins Joe and Tom Pincus also played for UQ before embarking on their Super Rugby careers.
Conor was a promising rugby player when he suffered a spinal cord injury in a scrum collapse during a game for the St Joseph’s College, Gregory Terrace Second XV’s in 2018.
Four years on, and after a gruelling recovery program, the now 20-year-old is training up to five times a week for a game he describes as the toughest and most physical of wheelchair sports.
“It’s a contact sport, but wheelchair rugby is like nothing you’ve ever seen,” he said.
“Our chairs are heavy metal so you can take a hit and they’re basically built for crashing into people.
“Every now and then you fall out of your chair the wrong way and smack your head because we play on a basketball court, but generally you come out of it unscathed.”
The team, captained and coached by dual Paralympian Chris Bond, got through all three rounds of the national league undefeated before their resounding 62-38 win over Brothers in the final game.
General Manager of UQ Rugby Club, Jason Greenhalgh, said it was an inspirational run.
“To watch that final game live – and to win it in front of a home crowd – was just sensational,” Mr Greenhalgh said.
He says he’d love to see Conor again get picked for the Queensland side for the upcoming Wheelchair Rugby National Championship, held on the Gold Coast from 24 June.
“It’s a bit like the State of Origin, and we’re keen to take it to New South Wales and add to a great season for UQ wheelchair rugby.”
UQ’s Wheelchair Rugby team is managed and supported by Sporting Wheelies Disabled Association.