Sometime late on Saturday afternoon, somewhere in the depths of Suncorp Stadium, three debutant Wallabies will be handed their Australia Rugby Union Test caps. In that group of three is Dane Haylett-Petty who will be presented with Wallabies Cap #893 as he prepares to run on against a resurgent England side wearing the #14 jersey in the first match of a three test series.
Since arriving in Perth from Durban with his family at the age of 10 he has chased his rugby dream and after many years of hard work he takes his first steps in making that dream a reality.
Cottesloe U12's was the starting point for his local rugby, quickly followed by school honours at Hale, Australia A Schoolboys, Australia U20's, Australian IRB 7's representation and a Western Force contract in 2008. In 2010 a move to Europe saw him playing three seasons with French Top 14 side Biarritz before returning to the Force in 2014 for what have been three stellar seasons culminating in his debut on Saturday for the Qantas Wallabies against the Eddie Jones coached new look England.
Not more than a couple of years behind Dane is Ross, the 1.97 meter tall younger brother, who has also come up through Cottesloe, the Australian U20's and is now running out alongside Dane at the Western Force and could himself be harbouring Wallaby aspirations
For those who were at Allen Park early in the 2014 season when the Gulls took on Soaks you will remember DHP playing an outstanding role at fullback for the Force approved minutes. With his contribution to the game finished he was in the changing shed considering his first beer of the day and dressing in his Number 1's, ready to attend that night's Force home game, his phone rang and he was informed that the named full back was out and he was starting - having played 60 minutes for the Gulls he rushed to nib Stadium and played a blinder for the full 80 minutes and that, as they say, was that, he's not looked back since..!!!
Congratulations to Dane from all past and present members of Cottesloe RUFC - we're proud to call you one of our own.
GO THE MIGHT GULLS.