|Full name||Jamie Lee Simpson|
6 September 1986 |
Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia
|Height||181 cm (5 ft 11 in)|
|Weight||93 kg (14 st 9 lb) |
Source: NRL Stats
Jamie Simpson born 6 September 1986 in Australia is a retired rugby league player coaching with The Central Queensland Capra's, a feeder club for the NRL club the Brisbane Bronco's in the Queensland Cup. He played as a winger and centre, but was successful as a lock and five-eighth in his schoolboy years at St. Brendan's College. Jamie is avid worker in the community and is an ambassador for The Men Of League Foundation and Lymphoma Australia.
Early life and cancer survival
Simpson was convinced by his mother to join the Fitzroy Junior Rugby League club while a young student at the Rockhampton primary school 'The Hall'. His obvious natural skill was complemented by an occasionally hostile temperament. He decided to attend St. Brendan's College in Yeppoon for its rugby league program. It was there that Simpson developed greater self-discipline, with coach Terry Hansen observing "I knew he'd turned the corner" after an on-field incident in 2001 where Simpson refused to respond to an opposing player's punches after the ball was played. In late 2001, he was selected in the school's 1st XIII at age 15. In June 2002, Simpson represented St Brendan's College at Confraternity Carnival for the 2nd XIII. In August the same year, Jamie was part of the only 2nd XIII to win the local Open Schoolboys competition against Nth Rocky High School after the 1st XIII withdrew to compete in the arrive alive competition. This historic win came after an overtime game which saw Jamie play a high-impact game. Hundreds of students invaded the pitch at full-time to be part of the full-time war cry and celebration. However, in August 2002 he was diagnosed with cancer. Simpson played what could potentially have been his last game, a pre-season match against Kirwan State High School, prior to his team being informed of the diagnosis.
While battling life-threatening Hodgkin's lymphoma and enduring chemotherapy throughout 2002–2003, Simpson remained involved with rugby league by volunteering as assistant coach for the school's 2nd XIII in early 2003. Coach Mannie Navarro and his wife Ek were so moved with Simpson's courageous, selfless optimism that they later named their third son James Neal Navarro 11.11.2008 after Jamie. While hospitalised in isolation in late 2003, Brisbane Broncos coach Wayne Bennett gave him an autographed copy of his book Don't Die with the Music in You with a personal message: "Tough time comes and goes, but tough guys last forever" and was also encouraged to pursue a professional career by family friend Scott Minto. After finally beating cancer, Simpson returned to St. Brendan's to complete his senior education in 2004, with a newfound determination to make the most of his abilities. As part of a victorious Brendan's side, he was awarded player of the Confraternity Carnival, and later represented Queensland Schoolboys. Simpson was rumored to have been pursued by several clubs, ultimately settling on the Brisbane Broncos.
Simpson is the Rabbitoh's nominee for the 2009 Ken Stephen Medal for Services to the Community for his work in helping and visiting young people with cancer.
Simpson started his senior career for Broncos feeder clubs Aspley and the Toowoomba Clydesdales in 2005-2006. While a he was a frequent try-scorer in the QLD Cup for Aspley, and gained representative honours for the Queensland City origin side in 2007, he was overlooked for selection in first-grade for the Broncos in favour of older players.
Simpson was then lured to the South Sydney Rabbitohs for the 2008 NRL season. Injury delayed his first grade début in until round 13, where he scored a try against the New Zealand Warriors. Once given the opportunity in the NRL, Simpson's début season was a major success. Commentators believe that Simpson's performance was a major component of a mid season resurgence for the Rabbitohs, even relegating former international Nigel Vagana from inclusion in the side.
Simpson's 2009 season included an accidental collision with a referee in round 19, and a hat trick of tries in round 20.
On 14 January 2011 it had been announced that Simpson had signed for Huddersfield Giants on a 3 year deal. However, he only played nine times for them and was unavailable to play for four months following shoulder surgery in April. The Giants released him from contract on 16 December 2011 and he was expected to return to the NRL in Australia.
In June 2013 he signed with Central Queensland Capra's team based in Rockhampton, who are feeder club to the Brisbane Bronco's and compete in the Intrust Super Cup. His signing is a major coup for the Central Queensland team who also are part of the CQ NRL bid pushing for another team in Queensland. Simpson is hoping to re kindle some early career form and help raise the profile of CQ Capra's.
In 2015/2016 Jamie was announced as the Under 18 Mal Meninga Cup coach for the CQ Capras, bringing a new youthful style of Rugby league to the team. Jamie had a successful season leading the minnows to the quarter finals. Jamie has also mentored and helped his players receive NRL and Queensland cup contracts. Sam Murphy has been contracted to the North Queensland Cowboys, Kobe Hetherington to one of Simpsons old clubs the Brisbane Bronco's , Eli Noovao to Melbourne Storms Feeder club East tigers, Chalice Atoi to the Central Queensland Capras and lastly Zac Hetherington and Josh Wilkinson have been contracted to the Canterbury Bulldogs.
In 2012, Simpson joined Southern Cross Austereo in Rockhampton as a promotions staff member for Hot FM and Sea FM. Soon after he began work at Southern Cross Austereo, he became a relief announcer for both stations. With his quick wit and laid back attitude, Simpson has gained plaudits for his work in the industry and he formed a great relationship with Hot FM breakfast announcers, Browny (Paul Brown) & EJ (Emilie-Jain Palmer). Simpson became known for conducting live crosses to Browny & EJ's breakfast show while driving the station's "Hot Thunder" promotions vehicle to various locations to hand out free promotional merchandise to listeners. Although Browny and EJ have since moved on to other stations, Simpson has stayed close friends with the two presenters.
- "Huddersfield Giants". web page. Huddersfield Giants. Retrieved 7 August 2011.
- RPLA News - Simpson Inspires Rabbitohs Resurgence
- League Unlimited 'Jamie Simpson Star of the Future', Jun 2008
- ABC 'Simpson leaves Souths for Giants', 14 Jan 2011
- Sky Sports 'Giants part ways with Simpson', 16 Dec 2011
- Daily Telegraph (UK) 'Jamie...', 13 Jan 2012