|Sandow in 2008|
9 January 1989 |
Kingaroy, Queensland, Australia
|Height||173 cm (5 ft 8 in)|
|Weight||82 kg (12 st 13 lb)|
|2012||Indigenous All stars||1||0||1||0||2|
|Source: NRL Stats|
Chris Sandow (born 9 January 1989 in Kingaroy, Queensland) is an Indigenous Australian professional rugby league footballer for the Parramatta Eels of the National Rugby League (NRL). A goal-kicking Halfback, he previously played for the South Sydney Rabbitohs.
Sandow is from Bigambul / Gubbi Gubbi traditional Aboriginal territory. Sandow grew up in Queensland playing rugby league in the Aboriginal community of Cherbourg, a three-hour drive north west of Brisbane. He later moved to Brisbane where he attended Marsden State High School with Israel Folau, Quade Cooper, Greg Inglis, Nathan Peats and Adam Reynolds .He played Colts and Queensland Cup rugby for the Souths Logan Magpies. Sandow received Junior representative honors when he was selected for the Queensland Under-17 & Under-19 Squads. In 2006, while in year 12 at Marsden State High School where his classmates were Israel Folau and Antonio Winterstein, Sandow was selected for the Australian Schoolboys Squad that toured Wales, England and France, where he was awarded the man-of-the-match award in the game against the British Amateur Rugby League Association (BARLA) squad.
Sandow's first contract was signed with the Gold Coast Titans where he spent two years in the lower grades. He was touted as a first-string back-up for star NRL half-back Scott Prince but his contract was terminated in early 2008 due to poor discipline. It was later revealed through the media that Sandow's partner had given birth to their first child and he was struggling with the distance away from his partner and first-born.
Professional playing career
Sandow's junior rep performance had not gone unnoticed and South Sydney's recruitment manager Mark Hughes signed Sandow to a minor $30,000 contract with the club. Sandow began playing in the National Youth Competition for the Rabbitohs squad from the beginning of the 2008 season. In June 2008, the team's star half-back Craig Wing suffered a near season-ending injury and Sandow was named to replace him in the Rabbitohs’ NRL team. At the time Sandow was to make his debut the club was sitting at the bottom of the ladder after having slumped to 11 losses from 12 matches.
In Round 13 during the 2008 season, Sandow made his first-grade debut against the Warriors in Auckland, New Zealand at Mt. Smart Stadium. On debut, Sandow kicked the game-sealing field goal in the dying seconds of the match to record Souths second victory of the season, defeating the Warriors 35-28. This marked the first time since 1999 the Rabbitohs had beaten the Warriors. In the following match, Sandow scored his first NRL career try against the Gold Coast Titans helping his side to a tight 24-23 victory that saw them come off the bottom of the table for the first time all season. Sandows fairy-tale start to the NRL continued a week later in Round 16, when after trailing 28-4 to the North Queensland Cowboys and coming back to level the scores at 28-28, he kicked the game-winning field goal to win 29-28 in what became the second biggest comeback victory in the history of the National Rugby League.
Sandow finished his debut season in the NRL by winning the 2008 Dally M Award Rookie of the Year Award. He was recognised in the Toyota Cup Team of the Year as the starting half-back and received the inaugural George Green Medal for the Indigenous Rising Star of 2008.
Sandow earned selection in the Dreamtime team, the Indigenous Australian team that defeated New Zealand Maori 34-26 in a curtain raiser game at the 2008 Rugby League World Cup opening ceremony in October.
Sandow has signed a four-year deal with the Parramatta Eels reportedly worth between $1.6 and $2.2 million. Sandow stated that the reason he was leaving was to ensure his children are well provided for in the future.
Awards and accolades
- 2008: Peter Moore Award - Dally M Rookie of the Year
- 2008: George Green Medal for the Indigenous Rising Star of 2008
- 2008: Toyota Cup Halfback of the Year
- "Indigenous All Stars team named" (Press release). National Rugby League. 7 December 2011. Retrieved 14 May 2012.
- School days to class acts By Matt Marshall (The Daily Telegraph 23 April 2009)
- James Phelps (14 July 2008). "30k Buy of the Season". The Daily Telegraph (Sydney). Retrieved 2 January 2009.
- Josh Massoud (10 September 2008). "Sandow in a dizzy rise". The Daily Telegraph (Sydney). Retrieved 2 January 2009.
- Steve Jancetic (31 August 2008). "Chris Sandow wins World Cup spot, indigenous rising star medal". The Daily Telegraph (Sydney). Retrieved 2 January 2009.
- "Dreamtime Team defeat Maori 34-26". The Vibe. 27 October 2008. Retrieved 2 January 2009.