Emus’ Stani-force: Legends clash gives Staniforth siblings a chance to mark rare milestone

SIBLING CENTRAL: Staniforths Scott (main), (clockwise from bottom left) Graydon, Mitch, Kate and Nigel could join forces on Saturday for charity. Photos: AAP, JUDE KEOGH, OLIVIA SARGENT, CONTRIBUTED
SIBLING CENTRAL: Staniforths Scott (main), (clockwise from bottom left) Graydon, Mitch, Kate and Nigel could join forces on Saturday for charity. Photos: AAP, JUDE KEOGH, OLIVIA SARGENT, CONTRIBUTED

Staniforth – it’s a name all but synonymous with Orange Emus.

Through Mitch, Graydon and Nigel’s multiple premiership wins and immeasurable influence off the field, the Staniforth brothers have made the club their own over the years.

In particular the two latter helped restore the greens to their former glory in recent years, lifting Emus out of the Blowes Clothing Cup doldrums after finishing their professional careers and linking with the club in 2012.

Along with their brother Scott, who finished his career with more than 100 Super Rugby appearances and 12 Test Match caps for the Wallabies, the Staniforths ruled the roost in Sydney before that too.

But they’ve never played a game together, not all four of them.

That may change in this weekend’s BrothersIVBrothers bonanza at Endeavour Oval, which pits an Emus Legends outfit against its Knox Old Boys equivalent in the name of charity - the event is raising much-needed funds for Western Care Lodge and Orange hospital’s clinical trial program.

Graydon is a guaranteed starter for Emus’ side and so is Nigel, while on Wednesday Scott confirmed he’ll play too.

Whether Mitch dusts off the boots remains unclear and, incredibly, there’s a chance the quartet’s younger sister Katie, who plays rugby league for the Redfern All Blacks, might take the field too.

“There’s a very good chance she’ll upstage the rest of us, she’s the youngest and has more speed in the legs,” Scott laughed.

“I’m not entirely sure if we’ve got all [five siblings]. We’re laying some pressure on Mitch to play and we’re hoping to get Katie on board as well playing out on the wing. 

“I don’t think we’ve ever had more than two of us on the field at any one time. I’m definitely excited, we’ve talked about it over drinks at Christmas for a long time.”

The Staniforths will line up with some of Emus’ best and brightest, including several more recent stars like Tim Alison, Andrew Cosgrove, Adam Perri and Carter Hirini.

Their side will face Knox Old Boys for the Lachlan Robertson Memorial Cup, named after the inspiration for the BrotherIVBrothers initiative which has raised more than $600,000 for cancer research since 2012.

“I’ve seen some of their fundraisers previously, they do fantastic stuff,” Scott Staniforth said.

The initiative was founded by Lachlan’s brothers Jason, Bryn and Scott Robertson 12 months before their youngest sibling died from esophageal cancer. They’ve continued it in honour of him and another mate Tim Cussell, who died from bowel cancer not long after.

The concept is very focused on family ties, which makes the Staniforths’ presence a lovely touch whether they all take the field or not.

If Katie does play however, heaven forbid any Knox defender lands a high tackle on her, with Scott joking they may find four over-protective big brothers converging on them – although he’s not sure Katie would need their protection.

We’ve talked about it over drinks at Christmas for a long time.

Former Wallaby Scott Staniforth, on playing with all his siblings

“She can handle herself,” he laughed.

Whether Scott can still handle himself is a different question, one he’s asking himself considering he’s only played two games at any level, in any format, since retiring in 2010. 

He also hasn’t exactly been on a Rocky-like preparation montage for the game. 

“I’ve done nothing, I’m treating it like exams in my uni days which is cramming at the last minute. I went for a run this week and that’s it,” he laughed. 

“We’ll see how we go, the body probably won’t be able to do what the mind wants it to.” 

The Lachlan Robertson Memorial Cup clash kicks off at about 5pm at Endeavour Oval following Emus’ Blowes Clothing Cup showdown with Cowra, which starts at 3.15pm.

The bumper post-game function kicks off following the games.

  • EMUS LEGENDS: Paul Ringland, Keith Howarth, Mark Kingham, Paul Logan, Dave Ash, Stu Brisbane, Nick Hughes-Clapp, Gareth Wilson, Grant Hinrichsen, Andrew Cosgrove, Simon Badgery, Simon Triggs, Andrew Logan, Shane Udy, Derek Scott, Scott Pederson, Carter Hirini, Tim Allison, Adam Perri, Andrew Swain, Alex Low, Tom Grinter, Simon Thompson Scott Staniforth, Nigel Staniforth, Graydon Staniforth, Lee Cornish, Jeremy Wallace, Ian Hinrichsen, Rob Thorburn, Katie Staniforth (TBC), Clive Walker (director of rugby), Toby Tancred (psychologist), Mitch Staniforth (hydration chief)