Mat Rogers

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Mat Rogers
Mat Rogers.JPG
Rogers while playing for the Gold Coast Titans
Personal information
Full name Matthew S. Rogers
Born (1976-02-01) 1 February 1976 (age 38)
Caringbah, New South Wales, Australia
Playing information
Height 182 cm (6 ft 0 in)
Weight 87 kilograms (13 st 10 lb)
Rugby league
Position Wing, Centre, Five-eighth
Club
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1995–01 Cronulla-Sutherland 123 75 406 0 1112
2007–11 Gold Coast Titans 77 31 59 1 243
Total 200 106 465 1 1355
Representative
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1997 Queensland (SL) 3 1 6 0 16
1999–00 Queensland 5 3 12 1 37
1998–00 Australia 11 9 66 0 168
Rugby union
Position Fly-half, Fullback, Centre, Wing
Club
Years Team Pld T G FG P
2002–06 New South Wales 40 17 49 0 202
Representative
Years Team Pld T G FG P
2002–06 Australia 45 14 46 0 163
Source: All-time Player list and Rugby League Project

Matthew S. "Mat" Rogers (born 1 February 1976 in Caringbah, New South Wales)[1] is an Australian former professional rugby league footballer of the 1990s and 2000s. He also played rugby union at the highest levels, becoming a dual-code international. The son of the late Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks legend and CEO Steve Rogers, Mat played for the Sharks as well. He also played in two State of Origin series for Queensland (1999 and 2000), and for 7 Tests the Australian national side (1998 to 2000) before his switch to union in 2001. Rogers played at fly half in his final season for the Waratahs and started in a number of games for the Wallabies in various positions in the backline. He returned to rugby league in 2007 with the newly formed Gold Coast Titans club and retired in 2010. With the Titans beset by injuries and poor form, Rogers announced his comeback to help out the club on-field in 2011, but a serious injury forced him to announce his retirement again just minutes into his first game back.

Background[edit]

Playing both forms of the game as a junior, Rogers excelled in union at Queensland's The Southport School, a well known rugby union nursery. He played in the Australian Schoolboys representative team, at one point playing opposite a young Jonny Wilkinson, and future All Blacks sensation Jonah Lomu[citation needed].

Rugby league career[edit]

After deciding that rugby league was his preferred career path, Rogers joined his father's former club, the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks. Rogers formed powerful combinations with centre partner Andrew Ettingshausen and later fullback David Peachey. he was an entertaining ball-running winger during the mid-to-late 90s. He held several point-scoring records with Cronulla[citation needed] being a talented goal kicker and having an ability to score tries from the tightest situations. Rogers was chosen for the Australian team to compete in the end of season 1999 Tri Nations tournament. In the final against New Zealand he played on the wing, scoring two tries and kicking three goals in the Kangaroos' 22-20 victory.

Rogers expressed his desire to shift from his position on the wing to either Centre or Fullback. However, a serious injury to his shoulder rotator cuff at the conclusion of the Kangaroo's successful 2000 World Cup Campaign destroyed his chance. Despite this he was the tournament's top point-scorer. After a complete shoulder reconstruction he was restricted to a handful of games during the 2001 season, his final year with the Sharks.

Rugby union career[edit]

Following his switch Rogers was an immediate success in rugby union. He made his Wallaby debut with Wendell Sailor in a Test match against France in June 2002. Collectively at that point they became the 41st and 42nd Australian dual code internationals.

His transition had not been without controversy. Several times Rogers found himself the focus of media scrutiny after making comments regarding the state of Australian club rugby in comparison to training for the Wallabies[2] and after an alleged altercation outside an Edinburgh nightclub with a fan in 2004.[3][4]

His initial switch was less than smooth after coach Bob Dwyer revealed that Waratahs and Wallaby stalwart Matthew Burke would be moved from his preferred position of fullback to outside centre in order to accommodate Rogers. His 2004 Super 12 season started brilliantly but a serious ankle injury suffered in South Africa ruled him out of that year's Tri Nations series.[5]

An autobiography Off the Wing, On a Prayer was published in 2002 and written while his father Steve Rogers was still alive and when he was married to Michelle Miller, the mother of his children – Jack and Skyla.

Starting in the 2005 Tri Nations Series, Rogers was shifted from fullback to play at fly-half following the injury of Stephen Larkham. He continued to play in that position during the 2005 spring tour of Europe and remained there for the Waratahs for most of the new Super 14 competition in 2006.

Coming on late in the second half in the second test against South Africa in the 2006 Tri Nations Series, Rogers scored a late try which allowed Stirling Mortlock to kick the winning conversion from the left sideline, for a 20–18 win.

It was reported on 28 August 2006 that Rogers had sustained a knee injury requiring athroscopic surgery and was ruled out of the last test against The Springboks but was fit for the end of year tour. "I've had (the injury) for a couple of weeks and I was hoping it would have pulled up a bit better than it has," Rogers said. "I'm disappointed to miss out on the Springboks match because I feel that we've got a great chance of winning a Test on their soil, which hasn't been done for a long time." [6]

The Daily Telegraph in 2006 sparked the question of how many games Rogers has actually not participated in due to injuries and quoted the following figures: Rogers has missed 21 out of 61 games for the Waratahs, some due to his father's death at the start of the year. For the Wallabies he has played 41 of 57 matches. Overall he has not played for 37 of 118 games making him a spectator 31% of the time since moving to rugby union.

Rogers was named in the 37-man squad for Australia's tour of Europe. He had been selected to play at fly-half with usual number 10 Larkham playing outside him at inside-centre.

On 14 December 2006, Mat Rogers was released from his contract from the Waratahs and the Australian Rugby Union.

Return to rugby league[edit]

In 2007, Rogers revived his rugby league career with the new club, Gold Coast Titans in the National Rugby League. He became their equal top tryscorer for the Titan's inaugural season even after missing a handful of games late in the season due to a cracked patella.

Rogers started the 2008 season with the Gold Coast Titans at five-eighth. Rogers had been suspended for the first time in his NRL career after a dangerous tackle on Parramatta Eels winger, Luke Burt, during Round 5 of the NRL Premiership.

Roger announced his retirement from professional sport on 16 August 2010,[7] and played his last NRL game on 24 September, with the Titans losing the preliminary final to the Sydney Roosters.[8] There was speculation that he would continue to play in 2011, with Rogers hinting that he would register with the NRL in case of an injury crisis, but that did not eventuate[9]

With the Titans playing poorly in 2011, Rogers had agreed to train with the club and was intent on returning to the field. He returned in Round 18 against the New Zealand Warriors. However, Rogers broke his foot in the 22-6 loss, effectively ending both his season and his career for a second time. (League News, Gold Coast Titans, Rugby League | Wed 29 June 09:50:50 EST 2011)

Records & accolades[edit]

In 2000, Rogers was awarded the Australian Sports Medal for his contribution to Australia's international standing in the sport of rugby league.[10]

He holds the standing record for the most points scored in an Australia-New Zealand rugby league Test match with 24 (2 tries and 8 goals) scored in the Anzac Test of 2000 in Sydney.

In his five seasons with Waratahs, he became the third highest points scorer with 202 points. He equalled Matthew Burke's record for the most individual conversions in a match with six, achieved in the Waratahs 2004 round two clash against the Sharks at Aussie Stadium on 28 February 2004.[11]

In the 2003 Rugby World Cup, he set the Australian record the most points in match. It came in Australia's 142–0 victory over Namibia where he scored two tries and 16 conversions for 42 points.[12]

Personal life[edit]

Mat Rogers with Chloe Maxwell 2012

Rogers married model and media personality Chloe Maxwell on the Gold Coast on 26 October 2008.[13]

Rogers has been committed to raising awareness about the debilitating disease depression, which affects one in six men, since the death of his father Steve in January 2006.

He has signed on to be an ambassador for Movember, an initiative that encourages men to grow a moustache during November to raise funds for research into depression and prostate cancer.

His league legend father battled depression for three years and, while suicide was initially suspected, Steve's death after taking alcohol and prescription drugs was ruled an accident.

Mat has said he fears inheriting a propensity for the mental illness, which affects 1 million Australians. He has made a pact with brother Don always to be honest about their feelings. He encouraged men to talk to family, doctors or mates.

Rogers has four children, Jack and Skyla from a previous relationship and Maxwell Danger (born 5 June 2006) daughter Phoenix (born 21 September 2007) to current wife, Chloe Maxwell.

Sources[edit]

  • Mat Rogers, Off the Wing, On a Prayer (2002), E.S.M Sports Pty. Ltd.
  • Centenary Test Game Day Souvenir Program (2008), News Magazines, Surry Hills, Sydney

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ritchie, Dean (6 April 2011). "Not being from Queensland no bar to Cane Toad State of Origin selection". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 6 April 2011. 
  2. ^ "Rogers carpeted over club jibe". www.abc.net.au. 
  3. ^ "No police action against Rogers". abc.gov.au. 
  4. ^ "Don’t Look Back in Anger". www.theroar.com.au. 
  5. ^ "'Shattered' Rogers out for five months". www.abc.net.au. 
  6. ^ "Rogers ruled out of Springboks Test". www.abc.net.au. 
  7. ^ "In-form Mat Rogers announces retirement". www.dailytelegraph.com.au. 
  8. ^ "Over and out for devastated Rogers". www.smh.com.au. 25 September 2010. 
  9. ^ "Mat Rogers hints at return for Titans in 2011". www.couriermail.com.au. 
  10. ^ "Mat Rogers". Australian Honours Database. Retrieved 21 May 2007. 
  11. ^ "All-Time NSW Super Rugby Player Records". New South Wales Waratahs. Archived from the original on 17 August 2007. Retrieved 19 May 2007. 
  12. ^ Alfroy, Philippe (25 October 2003). "Australia totals 142, Namibia out for nil". The Sydney Morning Herald. Archived from the original on 21 March 2007. Retrieved 19 May 2007. 
  13. ^ Fineran, Leah (27 October 2007). "Mat Rogers marries Chloe Maxwell in sunset wedding". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 19 April 2009. 

External links[edit]