Why ACT Brumbies are everywhere in the Schoupp

The 110kg prop master played junior rugby for Woonoona before joining Nudgee College on a rugby scholarship during his final two years at school and playing alongside Tate McDermott and Fraser McReight on the Queensland schoolboys team in 2016.

Schoupp moved back to Sydney to study teaching and played stallions for Randwick for a season before joining Southern Districts through a connection with now Wallaroos trainer Jay Tregonning. He debuted in first grade in 2019 but was up and down for the next 18 months, playing as low as third grade.

Blake Schoupp (center, taped to ear) is helping Southern Districts blast through North in 2022.

Blake Schoupp (center, taped to ear) is helping Southern Districts blast through North in 2022.Credit:Karen Watson

“I was wondering if I was good enough. It came as a shock to the system and made me wonder if it was worth playing on. I was still studying to be a teacher and it was time consuming, Shute Shield is almost a second job,” he said.

Under Todd Louden and front-row mentor Duncan Chubb, Schoupp returned to the top flight in 2020 and has since earned a reputation as one of Sydney’s most destructive loosehead props.

Schoupp got on the Brumbies’ radar when Chubb invited his old Souths teammate Dan Palmer — the former wallaby who is now ACT’s scrum coach — to a preseason practice in early 2022.

“Chubby pulled me aside and said, ‘This is an opportunity for you to put your hand up and show what you can do,'” Schoupp said.

Blake Schoupp and his brother Aaron, who played for the Bulldogs before joining the Titans.

Blake Schoupp and his brother Aaron, who played for the Bulldogs before joining the Titans.Credit:Lachlan Lawson/Getty

“After the training session, Palms pulled me aside and asked me lots of questions like, ‘Did the Waratahs do any research, did you have any research there?'”

No, came Schoupp’s reply. NSW has Wallabies star Angus Bell on the books and brought in Tom Lambert this year but opted to recruit Ruan Smith last year for experience.

Palmer stayed in touch, and after a season in which the Souths’ forward pack claimed a lot of scalps, he invited Schoupp to Canberra. In his first professional environment, veteran Brumbies players immediately recognized Schoupp’s strength and quality, and an injury to Harry Vella opened up an opportunity.

“When I came up, there was no talk of junior representatives or academies,” said Schoupp.

“I had no idea I was good enough for it and personally I wasn’t really sure at the time. I had been in and out of first foals and in and out of first class at Shute Shield.

“It was a bit of a mixed bag of me at that time going from stallions to class.


“I have no grudges [against NSW]. There have been times over the last few years when I thought I might be good enough to get into the area, even just to train with them. I thought at the time I was doing enough, but they obviously didn’t think so.

“But I have no resentment because I love where I am, I want to be here for as long as possible. As a front rower, there’s no better place than the brumbies. I’m very happy and wouldn’t have it any other way.”

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https://www.smh.com.au/sport/rugby-union/waratahs-loss-is-canberra-s-gain-why-brumbies-are-all-over-the-schoupp-20230221-p5cmab.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_sport Why ACT Brumbies are everywhere in the Schoupp

Ryan Sederquist

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