World first? Student & teacher play together

In what is quite possibly a professional rugby first, Year 11 student Destiny Brill will today line up alongside her school teacher Cobie-Jane Morgan for the Queensland Reds in Super W today.

Morgan (left) and Brill (right)

Year 11 student Destiny Brill moved to Brisbane with her family from Perth in mid-2019. Following a short stint at another school her mum contacted Marsden State High School to find out if her daughter could be a part of their sporting program.

On the other end of the phone was teacher, Cobie-Jane Morgan.

Morgan had only moved to the school in 2019 following a transition from New South Wales where she had stints with the Waratahs, Australian 7s, Wallaroos and Jillaroos (RL) sides over a number of years. At the school she took up a teaching/coaching role across sevens, touch football and girls rugby league programs.

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Morgan playing for the Wallaroos in 2018

Seeing something special in Destiny Brill, she took the fellow half-back under her wing, taking an active role in nursing her natural talent.

Speaking to Morgan said, “I guess for me I get to work with her every single day whether it’s in the classroom or out on the paddock… to have her sort of following in my footsteps I guess it’s someone I can give back too on a daily basis.”

Despite not even being of an age eligible for a provisional driver’s license, the Reds have taken a chance on Brills, signing the 16-year-old this year with hopes of big plays in the future.

Today, Brill is expected to make her Super W debut against the Rebels at 4:35pm AEDT off the bench in the number 21 jersey.

If she does make it off the sideline at Suncorp Stadium she will be replacing her teacher at halfback.

Morgan said, “I’m just super proud that she’s been given this opportunity. She’s got a lot of talent and a lot of natural ability so if she’s able to produce that this weekend I’d be super proud to see that.”

As remarkable as this unique story is it’s quite possible this unique partnership would never have occurred a few years ago. Despite Marsden State High School producing two Wallabies, Caleb Timu and the exiled Israel Folau, rugby has struggled under the foothold of rugby league.

Under the guise of some passionate staff, the school saw an opportunity for growth in the sevens game merging both sports into a combined program. Since then they have achieved some wonderful results as a school but also individually for students in the game.

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Cobie-Jane Morgan with some of her Marsden State High School students

Speaking about why she loves her teaching job Morgan said,

“I get to work with kids and I get to inspire kids,” she said.

“And I know what’s in front of them. For me, that’s super exciting and I want to instill good values in those kids coming through.

“I’m stoked with my job, I love it.

“These girls literally have no idea what’s in front of them and that’s a really cool thing for me because I can push them down pathways that they don’t see at the moment but in five or 10 years’ time, everything is going to be at the doorstep for them.

It is an exciting time for women’s and girl’s rugby in the country at the moment and the school’s scene is no different.

Following a successful trial in 2019 the ASRU has implemented an expanded girl’s inter-state sevens competition to run alongside the traditional boys Australian Schools Rugby Championships in July. It is hoped the competition will provide an incentive for girls playing the game as well as provide growth on and off the field for participating students during the week and in the lead up.

More details regarding trialling will be made available at a later date.