Henry reaches heroic 100-game milestone

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Long-serving Sydney University Football Club flyer Henry Clunies-Ross will join the elite 100 1st Grade games club when he runs out against Warringah at the SUFG on Saturday.

The Students will be calling on his vast experience to beat the visitors who have won three of their first four games of the 2024 Shute Shield season.

Henry’s road to 100 1st Grade games has been a stop-start journey hampered by illness and several serious injuries.

Having arrived on campus from Trinity Grammar in 2013 to study Commerce, he helped 1st Colts to the W. McMahon Shield Grand Final only to miss the big dance when he contracted appendicitis two days before the season decider.

That disappointment was put aside in 2019 when he defied the odds after suffering a horrendous leg injury in Round 1 which would have seen many people never play again, but not Henry, he returned half way through the season and helped 1st Grade win the Shute Shield title, and again in 2022 when a ruptured spleen saw him miss half the season, he again returned to taste Shute Shield success.

Originally hailing from Canberra, Henry was a resident at St Andrew’s College during his undergraduate years, he played Colts and Rawson Cup as a freshman and made his 1st Grade debut in Round 2 of the 2014 season. His commitment soon earned him a regular berth in the top grade. He was duly named Shute Shield Rookie of the Year after scoring 14 tries in his debut season.

Standing 1.88m and weighing in at 94kg his size, speed and skill soon attracted attention beyond the grade ranks. He represented the Aussie 7s in the fast-paced world of sevens rugby and was a member of the NSW Waratahs squad. He also represented the NSW Country Eagles and the Sydney Stars at the provincial level. He also spent a season with Lyon competing in one of Europe’s premier rugby competitions.

Along with his two 1st Grade titles, Henry also has two 2nd Grade, Colin Caird Shield titles under his belt, he is a former member of the unique Elite Athlete Program, which assists student to organise their sport and studies and was awarded his Sydney University Blue in 2019.

To contemplate the rare achievement of playing 100 1st Grade games, the last SUFC member to achieve this feat was Jeremy Tilse back in 2013. A try would be a nice reward on Saturday!