The Egyptian police appeared to have postponed once again their threat to begin choking off two Cairo sit-ins on Monday, where tens of thousands have gathered to protest the ouster of President Mohamed Mursi, leaving in place a tense six-week-old stand-off.
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The new military-appointed government has promised for more than a week to use all necessary force to clear out the sit-ins, which were established by Dr Mursi’s Islamist allies in the Muslim Brotherhood upon his ouster on July 3. But until now, external pressure from Western powers and internal dissent from liberal cabinet ministers appears to have persuaded General Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, the officer who ordered the takeover, to hold off decisive action.

As the sun rose over the main sit-in site on Monday, a small group of Mursi supporters who had gathered by makeshift barricades, breathed a sigh of relief.

Interior Ministry officials said on Sunday night that they would begin clearing out the sit-ins as early as dawn. Human rights advocates said that could lead to the loss of dozens of lives, in part, they say, because the Egyptian police are incapable of a gradual escalation – especially if they meet any friction or resistance.

”If the Egyptian police managed to intervene using responsible, proportionate force, it would be the first time,” said Karim Medhat Ennarah, a criminal justice researcher for the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights. ”I don’t think they have the capacity to do that,” he said, adding that the police killed at least 140 Mursi supporters at smaller demonstrations in the weeks since his ouster. ”I will be surprised if it did not start another round of lethal violence.”

Interior Ministry officials said on Sunday that they would move in gradually to surround the sit-ins to cut off any shipments of food and water. The officials said they would block any entrance but leave one exit open so that demonstrators could leave at will.

New York Times

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The University of NSW has denied it covered up distortions in research behind what was touted as a miracle skin cancer drug.
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UNSW said it had suspended a planned clinical trial for the cancer drug DZ13 “due to concerns regarding aspects of the science underpinning [the drug]”.

The ABC’s 7.30 program revealed that a researcher and an expert on research ethics had both raised questions about the veracity of the science underpinning the drug.

In May, a UNSW scientist, Levon Khahchigian, published research showing that the DZ13 drug appeared safe and effective for humans.

“[Turning off the gene] sends the tumour into a death spiral, which then triggers the body’s own natural inflammatory and immune system to go into battle and shrink the tumour,” he said in an article in The Lancet.

The drug was hailed as a great hope for skin cancer and beyond.

But Ying Morgan, a researcher on the project, had written to the university in 2009 alerting it to alleged research misconduct.

Dr Morgan said her research had shown the drug stopped working after 20 days, but this was ignored and never presented in published articles about the drug.

A university inquiry rejected the allegations and a modest and successful human trial followed.

Dr Morgan later alleged that diagrams used in publications about the drug were misleading.

Those concerns were echoed by David Vaux, from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, who said the claims of research misconduct meant the drug should never have been part of a clinical trial.

“If the results in this paper are not genuine, the [ethics committee] that approved the trial might have been misled,” Dr Vaux wrote.

After cancelling a much larger clinical trial planned for July, UNSW is now midway through its third inquiry into the drug.

“The university is adamant that it has at all times followed proper processes,” the university said in a statement. “At no stage has patient safety been jeopardised.”

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Pru Goward Photo: Kate GeraghtyFamily and Community Services Minister Pru Goward has repeatedly exaggerated the number of caseworkers helping the state’s most vulnerable children.
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Ms Goward’s consistent claim that there were more than 2000 caseworkers in the system has been contradicted by an Ernst and Young audit commissioned by her department that shows there were only 1797 in March and 1809 in April.

The report commissioned in May says ”overall there appears to be a shortfall of caseworkers compared with the 2068 funded positions” and in some areas such as child protection, this shortfall has increased.

The issue of caseworker staff shortages and failures to protect vulnerable children has come under intense focus in recent months after the mother of Tanilla Warrick-Deaves pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of the two-year-old in July. It was revealed that relatives of the toddler had made 33 reports to the Department of Family and Community Services about her welfare but no action was taken by caseworkers.

And in June it was revealed that murdered six-year-old Kiesha Weippeart had been allowed to remain in the care of her mother despite officials knowing of ongoing abuse.

Ms Goward declined to explain the discrepancies between the number of caseworkers she claimed to be in service and those detailed in the Ernst and Young report. Her office said ”she [Ms

Goward] has always said it is around 2000” and that caseworker numbers ”go up and down”.

Figures previously obtained by Fairfax Media under freedom of information laws show 61,308 children and young people were reported as being at risk between July 1, 2011 and June 30, 2012. Only 16,409 were interviewed by a caseworker and given a safety check.

The Ernst and Young report was leaked by NSW Labor during a budget estimates hearing at NSW Parliament on Monday. Ms Goward said she was not aware of its existence or the figures it contained, despite the document citing her as one of the stakeholders it consulted.

Ernst and Young released a statement on Monday evening saying it had not consulted with the minister directly to prepare the report.

The director general for her department, Michael Coutts-Trotter, who has been in the job for two weeks, described the audit as an ”excellent piece of work”. He said 176 people have been offered positions as caseworkers since the report was written.

Ms Goward said the government had provided the Department of Community Services with enough funding for 2068 positions and ”it is the department’s job to fill them”. She said she had instructed the former director-general to fill all vacancies.

Labor MP Luke Foley accused Ms Goward of lying. ”She has repeatedly lied to the people of NSW about the caseworker workforce in her department,” he said.

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One the waterfront: Robert Wiggins, with son Dan, says an underground seawall would help at Narrabeen. Photo: Jacky GhosseinIt is the Sydney homeowner’s man-versus-wild battle: erecting walls to stop the savage sea from swallowing their pricey waterfront properties.
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But Australian research says beachfront landowners have no legal right to defend their homes from the ocean, nor do governments have a duty to intervene.

Environment authorities are considering the findings as the state government overhauls coastal protection laws.

Homeowners say sea walls are one of their best defences against erosion and inundation as sea levels rise and the coast is battered by more frequent, intense storms. But environmental groups say the walls, which can be built on public or private property, cause other parts of the shoreline to recede and favour vested interests over the public’s right to the beach.

In a paper published in the Australian Law Journal, academic John Corkill claimed that while landowners once had a limited common law right to defend against the sea by building walls, that right is trumped by NSW coastal protection laws that acknowledge beaches should be preserved for the public good.

Mr Corkill, a Southern Cross University PhD candidate and former environmental campaigner, reached his conclusion by reviewing English court rulings dating back more than 130 years, as well as modern Australian and New Zealand cases.

”Landowners have to accept that [homes at threat from coastal erosion] are not safe places and they need to find somewhere else to live,” Mr Corkill said

However, Sydney solicitor Karen Coleman said the planning regime does not entirely override common law rights and government duties.

”I disagree that state and local authorities today cannot have any obligations to do coastal protection works,” she said.

”Private landowners still have individual legal rights and remedies,” she said, adding that modern High Court rulings supported her position.

The state government is reviewing coastal protection laws.

Its next stage of reforms, due next year, will help councils manage coastal erosion, through clearer policy guidance, technical advice and funding options.

A spokesman for Environment Minister Robyn Parker said the department was ”considering the implications” of Mr Corkill’s research.

The state government has allocated about $1.5 million protecting public assets with sea walls since coming to power and federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has promised a 15,000-strong ”green army” of young volunteers, which would build sea walls among other projects, should it win government.

Narrabeen property owner Robert Wiggins said the absence of a sea wall outside his beachfront home means a dangerous ”cliff” of sand is created after bad storms.

About 40 lots along Narrabeen-Collaroy beach have sea walls, however others remain exposed.

”Because we don’t have sea walls all along, some properties like mine will get ravaged when we have a massive storm,” Mr Wiggins said, adding a continuous wall built along the beach, buried under sand, would improve public safety.

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Michaela Banerji was sacked last year from her job after she criticised her department via an anonymous Twitter account. Photo: Jay Cronan NewsMichaela Banerji was sacked late last year from her job at the Immigration Department after she criticised the department via an anonymous Twitter account.[MICHAELA DID EXPRESS THAT SHE DID NOT WANT THE PHOTOS PUBLISHED IF SHE LOST THE CASE. WOULD HAVE TO CONFIRMED IF THIS IS STILL THE CASE AT THE TIME OF PUBLICATION]The Canberra Times09 August 2013Photo Jay Cronan Photo: Jay Cronan
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A court has paved the way for a public servant who criticised the government on Twitter to be sacked, even though she did not reveal her name or her job to her readers.

In a decision likely to curtail bureaucrats’ use of social media, Federal Circuit Court Judge Warwick Neville rejected Michaela Banerji’s application for a stay on her dismissal.

The case is linked to one of the government’s most prolific official tweeters, Immigration Department spokesman Sandi Logan, who heads the communications team in which Ms Banerji worked.

Ms Banerji had accused Mr Logan of bullying her, and argued the department’s decision to discipline her over her Twitter comments was a retaliation against her complaint.

Her application for an injunction on her sacking was decided last week after a lengthy investigation of whether the constitution protected public servants’ freedom of speech.

Judge Neville found Australians had no ”unfettered implied right (or freedom) of political expression”.

He also declined to grant a stay on Ms Banerji’s dismissal, noting she had not yet been sacked.

Ms Banerji, a public affairs officer, used microblogging website Twitter under the name @LaLegale. She had more than 700 ”followers”, or readers, when her department investigated her comments.

She regularly posted critical tweets about Australia’s immigration detention policies, the security company that works at detention centres, and government and opposition frontbenchers.

Ms Banerji initially denied the Twitter account was hers, but in October last year her investigator, Robyn White, wrote she was ”satisfied that, on the balance of probabilities, the evidence provided, although circumstantial, does support the conclusion that the LaLegale account is yours”.

Ms White found the comments were ”highly critical of the government, the minister, the immigration portfolio and … Sandi Logan”.

In one exchange on Twitter, Mr Logan had praised an African refugee, Garang Dut, who graduated as a doctor in Melbourne.

@LaLegale replied: ”Perhaps Dut can now make up for deaths and agonies of unlawful, immoral and destructive [immigration detention centres]. Different kind of ‘refugee camps’.”

Ms Banerji had also continued to work in a second job as a psychoanalyst, beyond the period for which the department had permitted.

Ms White recommended Ms Banerji be dismissed as a result of the two breaches of the Australian Public Service’s code of conduct, noting bureaucrats must avoid making ”harsh or extreme” criticisms of politicians or their policies.

However, Ms Banerji, who has a law degree and represented herself in the case, argued none of her tweets were ”offensive or damaging to individual persons, but instead, they are expressions of political opinion, to which all Australian citizens have a constitutionally implied right”.

”It is evident that they are a simple expression of political opinion, made in [my] own time away from work.”

She said any finding of misconduct against a public servant ”for expressing a political opinion contravenes the implied constitutional freedom of political communication”.

She also said she had been subjected to a ”history of victimisation” in the department and had made a ”whistleblower complaint” against Mr Logan, accusing him of ”covert surveillance of an employee’s social media account without her knowledge”.

However, Judge Neville said the High Court had found that citizens’ implied rights of political expression were limited.

”Further, even if there be a constitutional right of the kind for which [Ms Banerji] contends, it does not provide a licence … to breach a contract of employment,” the judge said.

He pointed out Ms Banerji was still able to request a review of the department’s recommendation to sack her, and encouraged both sides to enter mediation.

The Immigration Department would not comment on Monday on what action it would take against Ms Banerji, citing privacy concerns.

Public servants have the same notional political freedoms as other citizens, though the Public Service Commission warns them to avoid making comments that may raise questions about their impartiality.

The commission advises staff to uphold the service’s values and code of conduct ”even when material is posted anonymously, or using an ‘alias’ or pseudonym, and should bear in mind that even if they do not identify themselves online as an APS employee or an employee of their agency, they could … be recognised as such”.

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Smooth sailing: Malcolm Turnbull out to sea. Photo: Wolter PeetersThe sky was a fine Liberal blue as the 16m yacht Moksha came around and started its run down Sydney Harbour. Mohmed Ali looked at Malcolm Turnbull and wondered who he was.
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”He looks pretty good though,” the Chapel School Merrylands student said as the yacht raced HMAS Tobruk to Bradleys Head.

In the middle of the election campaign, the MP for Wentworth, resplendent in red sailing jacket, yachting shorts, deckshoes and replete with his own malcolmturnbull南京夜网.au baseball cap, bravely put to sea on Monday morning with some of the few people in Australia who had yet to hear of him.

Ten students from Chapel School, a high school in the western Sydney Labor heartland of Merrylands that caters to youngsters disconnected from mainstream education, go sailing each Monday as part of a Sailors With disAbilities program.

Turnbull has been patron of SWD for years and regularly sails with various groups. ”Chasing the charity dollar is a very crowded space and anything I can do to lift the profile, the better,” he said.

When Turnbull appeared at the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia to join the Chapel School crew, sailors on the Rushcutters Bay dock spontaneously wished him luck.

Clearly Turnbull is their man. Around Wentworth, billboards bearing his smiling face are more ubiquitous than seagulls. In Hall Street, Bondi, a stencil graffiti Kevin Rudd face carries a single word, ”Icarus”.

As Moksha cleared the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia wharf, one of the girls, a first-time sailor, sat rigid. ”I’m gonna throw up, she said. ”I don’t want to do this.”

A crewmember who had been watching her quietly took her into the cockpit and asked her to stow the line coming in as the mainsail was hoisted. Busy, her tears and fears vanished.

”That’s one of the aims, give people a stakehold, build self-esteem, and they can discover their capabilities. Sailing can do this,” Turnbull said.

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LIVE COVERAGE
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More than any two Australian cricketers in recent years Ryan Harris and Shane Watson have been haunted by bodies that have kept letting them down.

Much time and attention has been spent on Watson’s myriad fitness issues, the latest a groin strain incurred in the fourth Test that has brought a stop to his latest run as a fully fledged Test all-rounder.

But heaven knows where Australia might be without Harris (7-117) in England. While the former vice-captain walked around gingerly on Monday, permitted to field and bat but not bowl, the fast bowler was travelling at full throttle in another brutal spell that confirmed that when fit, he is a match for any quick in the world.

Making the new ball operate like a grenade the 33-year-old claimed three wickets in the space of 11 balls on the fourth morning of the match, and ended with not only career-best figures, but also the best innings return of any bowler in the series. He now has 20 wickets in three matches at 19.25 apiece.

Unfortunately he was again fighting largely a lone battle as England’s Tim Bresnan (45) and Graeme Swann (30) inflicted some serious lower-order damage to propel England to 330 in its second innings, setting Australia a victory target of 299.

Openers Chris Rogers and David Warner negotiated a tricky 20 minutes before lunch, with England blowing one of their reviews on James Anderson’s lbw appeal on the veteran, to leave Australia 0-11 in pursuit. The task was not made any easier by the injury picked up by Watson. The former vice-captain left the ground midway through an over on Sunday and did not return.

Cricket Australia said he would be able to bat, having been put through a series of light jogging exercises in the warm-up on Monday, but due to changes made to the laws of international cricket in 2011 he would not be able to be assisted by a runner.

Harris had no such concerns, silencing speculation about how his body would hold up to playing in a third consecutive Test for only the second time in his regularly truncated career.

After carving up England’s top order the day before he wasted no time adding four more wickets.

Ian Bell, his third hundred of the series ended at 113, and Matt Prior were castled in consecutive deliveries, the first of which almost resulted in a search party being needed to locate a flying stump.

Harris missed out on his hat-trick, but took only until his next over to claim a sixth victim, when Stuart Broad fended a short ball unconvincingly to Steve Smith at gully.

Bresnan blasted crucial late runs for England, including five boundaries in 12 balls off Australia’s other opening bowler Jackson Bird, and it took Harris to finally end his cameo, completing the catch himself.

Smith could not do that in the deep soon after, putting down a sitter that would have had No.11 Anderson caught at long-on.

The bowler, Nathan Lyon, was not impressed, but finished off Anderson soon after to finish with 3-55, cleaning up the wickets Harris did not take. The spilled chance cost Australia 13 runs.

However Australia’s run chase works out, Harris had done his job, surpassing his previous best of 6-47 against England in Perth in 2010. The only question, after this performance, was why he was left out of the first Test last month.

“I feel really confident in my body…I’ve had a really good build-up,” Harris said. “In the past I’ve gone from not bowling many overs to bowling lots of overs whereas this time I’ve spent plenty of time on the Australia A tour (of England before the Ashes) and bowled lots and lots of overs, and finished off the first-class season back in Queensland.

“You’ve always got doubts, but I’m starting to have less and less doubts obviously because I’ve got through so much.”

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August is supposed to be the month when the NRL is abuzz in the lead-up to the finals but even though there are 13 teams in the running for the playoffs, there is an air of inevitability that the leading four teams will be facing off in the penultimate weekend of the post season for the right to meet in the grand final.
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The NRL would be foolish to abandon the eight-team system because crowds would dramatically fall away at this time of year if more sides were out of the equation but when 50 per cent of the competition is classed as the cream of the crop at the end of the regular season, it’s hard to argue against those who say it rewards mediocrity.

1. Roosters (last week 1): Boyd Cordner’s injury-enforced absence will not only put a huge dent in the Roosters’ title aspirations, it will probably cost him his first Test jersey. Although it is likely it will just be a delay, not a permanent miss. Even though there are plenty of high-quality back-rowers running around, Cordner should have been one of the first picked for Australia’s World Cup squad.

2. Sea Eagles (2): Whether it’s the raw meat diet or playing outside the best non-representative rep-class centre in the NRL, Wolfman “David” Williams is back to top form and no matter how hard you look, there are no weak links in this Manly side.

3. Storm (4): The Storm seem to have weathered the meteorological disturbance which hovered on their radar mid-season. Brett Finch’s best days are well behind him but he is a true competitor and will give his all to win his first legitimate NRL title after going close twice before.

4. Rabbitohs (3): The next time Greg Inglis is out injured, South Sydney’s players can say their team’s fortunes do not revolve around their star fullback or they can tell the truth.

5. Knights (8): Supercoach Bennett is unsurprisingly playing down his team’s late-season momentum but if experience counts in the finals, Newcastle could be one of the few sides in the bottom half of the top eight who won’t be making up the numbers.

6. Sharks (5): Still not scoring enough points. A lack of attacking potency means they are not putting opponents away when the chance is there. Cronulla had several sets in Newcastle’s red zone last Saturday but had to settle for a penalty goal to break a 12-12 deadlock. The two points were not enough to secure the two competition points.

7. Bulldogs (6): Is there not enough grunt in the Canterbury forwards? It seems sacrilegious to suggest that about a club renowned for its bite up front but there is a lot of finesse in this pack but perhaps not enough mongrel.

8. Warriors (7): No shame losing on the road to Manly but their finals chances are suddenly looking flaky after back-to-back losses. Another defeat and they start to become a “mathematical chance” of making the finals and nobody wants that mantle.

9. Titans (10): A win in Sydney and over the Bulldogs no doubt. A couple of impressive wins in a row has brought them back into eighth spot. They have nobody to blame but themselves if they don’t make the finals now.

10. Raiders (9): Like Terry Campese’s hair, their form has been patchy for most of the year and now it looks like it’s gone altogether. A terrible -110 for and against differential means they’ll have to do more than most of their rivals to steal a top-eight berth.

11. Broncos (11): Three points off eighth spot, they are not without a hope if they keep duplicating the tenacity on display in recent weeks. Sam Thaiday is not everyone’s cup of tea (did you see his miraculous recovery to score off the next play after supposedly suffering a serious injury?) but he is certainly effective.

12. Cowboys (13): Are the North Queensland players doing it for supercoach Henry now he’s been sacked or is their sudden form turnaround due to something else? Unlike five of the six teams above them, the 12th-placed Cowboys have a positive points differential, yet another indication of their season of under-achievement.

13. Panthers (12): Surprising to hear Lachlan Coote’s name being mentioned as another Penrith junior who may be playing elsewhere next year. A couple of years ago he was being hailed as the future face of the club.

14. Dragons (14): No more Josh Dugan or Trent Merrin for the rest of the season. Likely there’ll be no more victories for St George Illawarra in 2013 either.

15. Eels (17): They’ve leapfrogged the 16th-ranked “Daylight” and the Wests Tigers by beating the latter last weekend. The lead changed several teams as both teams tried their best/worst to lose the match. Parra just wanted to win/didn’t want to lose it the most.

16. Tigers (15): When the Wests Tigers won the premiership in 2005, supercoach Sheens said it would end the factionalism between Balmain and the Magpies which was caused so much drama in the joint venture club’s formative years. The current board of directors should be reminded of this.

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Brumbies player Colby Faingaa is joining the Melbourne Rebels next year. Photo: Melissa Adams SPORT: Brumbies players Robbie Coleman and Colby Faingaa at the Brumbies gym at HQ, Griffith that is all but empty with only a few mats and weights remaining. . 12th August 2013 .Photo by MELISSA ADAMS of The Canberra Times.. Photo: Melissa Adams MLA
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A rope and a few tonnes of weights were all that was left of the ACT Brumbies’ gym; the rest was packed into storage as the club begins its move to the University of Canberra.

While openside flanker Colby Faingaa won’t get packed into a box, he’s also embarking on a move of his own, joining the Melbourne Rebels on a one-year deal.

But first the Queanbeyan product will enjoy a farewell tour, travelling to London for an inaugural club sevens tournament along with two other southern hemisphere teams.

Faingaa admitted it was a little disappointing he was leaving his home town, but he is also excited at the chance to come out of the shadows of some of the best loose forwards Australian rugby has produced.

Injury last year put him behind Michael Hooper in the Brumbies No.7 pecking order and then the arrival of Wallabies pilferer David Pocock for this season relegated him to the bench.

Then the return of Brumbies favourite son George Smith forced him out of the XXII completely.

He spoke to his brothers Saia and Anthony, who play for the Queensland Reds, before deciding to move to the Rebels.

For Faingaa it will be just his third trip to Melbourne, having only ever been there twice – both times to play.

”It’s a little disappointed [that I am leaving], but I’m more excited at my chance with the Rebels,” Faingaa said.

”You can’t assume anything [when going to a new club], but there’s a bigger chance for me to establish myself there.”

Faingaa related his farewell more with the Super Rugby grand final, rather than an unfamiliar sevens tournament on the other side of the world.

Not even the last two years working with fitness guru Dean Benton had prepared him for the intense training of the last week, trying to get ready for the non-stop action of sevens rugby.

Faingaa was preparing for some of the worst seven minutes of his life – albeit with some of that time spent on the bench.

”There’s a massive difference between sevens and the normal game,” Faingaa said.

”It’s just constant running for the full seven minutes, certainly a lot tougher than what I’m used to and nothing in the last two years has prepared me for it.”

The Brumbies will play the round-robin games on Saturday and their goal is to win the final on Sunday.

And that’s the goal sevens skipper Robbie Coleman has for his squad of 12, which leaves on Tuesday. They warmed up with a game against a Papua New Guinea side in Canberra on Monday.

Coleman said it was a massive honour to captain the side and he has already put behind him the disappointment of missing out on the squad for the Super Rugby grand final.

The versatile back was on the fringes all season and was hampered by niggling groin and hip problems.

He’s hopeful that a solid pre-season when he returns from London will help him force his way into the line-up next year.

”It’s always hard to miss out on a big game, that’s only natural,” Coleman said.

”But the whole squad still played a large part in the preparation.”

BRUMBIES SEVENS SQUAD1. Etienne Oosthuizen, 2. Andrew Smith, 3. Jordan Smiler, 4. Matt Hawke, 5. Colby Faingaa, 6. Henry Speight, 7. Rodney Iona, 8. Stephan Van Der Walt, 9. Ian Prior, 10. Zack Holmes, 11. Robbie Coleman (c), 12. Tom Cox.

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Nicholas Pepper and Reece Papas. Picture: Jonathan CarrollNIC Pepper proved a point and Reece Papas would not be denied another green and gold jersey at the School Sport Australia 19-years-and-under football championships in Canberra last week.
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The Newcastle Jets pair starred for the NSW All Schools side, helping them to second place and securing themselves selection in the 16-strong Australian Schoolboys squad to tour Britain in January.

In a once-in-a-lifetime experience, the group will play a Welsh College team, Swansea and Cardiff City academies, the England independent schools, Sheffield United academy, Birmingham City academy, a British college side, and an England All Schools line-up.

The Australians will also tour the famous Old Trafford and Anfield stadiums and attend English Premier League games.

Isobel Cootes, from Warners Bay High, was the lone Hunter player in the Australian Schoolgirls squad. The defender helped NSW to second in the girls’ tournament and was selected despite missing games due to a dislocated shoulder and concussion.

Papas, an Australian representative at under-15 and 16 level, booked his seat on the 16-day tour with a standout carnival, earning player of the tournament honours.

It was confidence boost for the 17-year-old defender, whose performance and selection came after he was overlooked for the Young Socceroos squad which left for a tour of Spain on Friday.

Papas, who attended a Young Socceroos camp in April this year, was thrilled to get another international call-up and said the highlight of the tour would be “just the experience and the honour of representing your country”.

Pepper, a centre midfielder, played at the titles last year when he was still based in Sydney. The 18-year-old, who came to Hunter Sports High School and the Jets this time last year, was selected as a shadow player for the touring team to Argentina and Brazil.

Now in year 12, Pepper was determined to take his last chance at schoolboys level for a green and gold jersey.

“It was [my] goal this year to get into the team,” said Pepper, who is no relation to Jets A-League player Jacob Pepper.

“There was no expectation but I just wanted to prove a point that maybe they made a mistake last year.”

NSW All Schools lost to Victoria 1-0 when they needed a draw to take the title. They drew with winners ACT 0-0 and South Australia 2-2, but beat Western Australia 7-0 and Queensland 2-1.

Before the January tour, Pepper and Papas are hoping to be part of the Jets’ National Youth League campaign.

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