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Rugby Union: Petty turns back clock.

AUSTRALIA sevens international utility-back Rod Petty has agreed to play for Pertemps Bees in National One this season for nothing.

In an era when overseas players usually demand a sponsored car, a five-figure salary and an expensive flat, Petty will play for the Bees as an amateur, in a throwback to the days before rugby turned professional in 1995.

The 27-year-old from Sydney arrived in Birmingham two weeks ago and, having paid for his own air fare, he is lodging with a Bees supporter and will try to earn a living during his time in England by working as a bricklayer.

"I normally get 500 e-mails from players each year and the vast majority I delete," said Phil Maynard, Bees director of rugby.

"But Rod's was different. He said that he was happy to find his own work and to pay for his keep. All we had to do was to give him the chance to showcase his talents.

"That sort of thing just doesn't happen these days. It sounded too good to be true.

"Normally when you sign a player you get a lot of contract demands from the player and his agent and it costs you a fortune.

"Rod is a throwback to the days before the game went professional. He paid his way over, got here the day before we played Blackheath last week and wanted to play the next day.

"Although he was jet-lagged he had a great game for us and he's put himself right in the frame to play in our opening league game against Bedford."

Petty, who plays for the Northern Suburbs club, played for New South Wales Country against the British Lions in 2001 and he has also played twice against Scotland in tour matches.

He represented Australia at Under-19 level and played for his country in both the Hong Kong and Singapore sevens tournaments earlier this year.

CAPTION(S):

PERTEMPS BEES... Seated (left to right): Leo Halavatau, David Evans, Kyle Palm, Joe Wearna. Front row: Dr Lou Lupoli, Adam Billig, Reece Spee, Dave Knight, Matt Long, Phil Maynard (Director of Rugby), Mark Cornwell (captain), Steve Williams (head coach), Simon Martin, Casey Dunning, Matt Miles. Second row: Emma Jane Petherick (pysio), Tristan Davies, Terry Sigley, Mark George, Akapusi Qera, Alex Davidson, Rob Walton, Mark Gabey, Dan Tuohy, Dean Miller, Brian Thomas, Peter Team Manager. Back row: Ben Harvey (head coach), Stuart Pearl, Mike Baxter, Emyr Lewis, Rod Petty, Tom Rawlings, Hotili Asi, Jon Higgins, Matt Nuthall, Jon Goodridge, Brad Davies, Paul Downes (fitness coach).
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Aug 24, 2006
Words:422
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