Life still left in the legs of this legend
IT'S fair to say Gladstone rugby league stalwart and Wallabys legend Ashley Dodd has had a whirlwind year.
It all started in March when Dodd, 45, had the opportunity to play alongside 17-year-old son Coen in the Rockhampton Rugby League reserves competition.
Almost five months later the wily playmaker is gearing up to play a key role for the Gladstone Allstars when they take on the Australian Allstars in the Legends of League game at Marley Brown Oval on August 4.
"It's really cool and really great to get an opportunity to play them," Dodd said.
"It's been a mad year - to play with Coen and now this - I'm really looking forward to it."
The minimum requirement to play for the Gladstone Allstars is 100 club games, although Dodd won't have a problem with making that number.
He estimates to have played somewhere between 400-500 games for his beloved Wallabys.
"Some games I'd play reserve grade and then A-grade, so some weeks were classed as two games," he said.
"Plus representative games thrown in there among the years - it'd be interesting to know exactly how many."
A utility player who has played every position except front row, Dodd expects nothing but class from the Australian Allstars side who boast more than 3000 NRL games between them.
"The boys are razzle-dazzle and they'll turn it on. They've got Matty Bowen, Scott Prince is still playing (Over-35s) Australian touch and you don't play 300 NRL games by being a slouch.
"Then you've got (Noel) Goldthorpe... Those boys only need to throw it three passes wide and you're running onto speed with (Chris) Walker on the edges.
"You've also got to worry about Willie (Mason) up the middle and (John) Buttigieg, so it doesn't get any easier."
Dodd is likely to play in the halves for Gladstone and isn't at all envious for the first player to take on the Australian juggernaut.
"Once we get the ball who is going to ruck it up?" he said.
"All the fun and games are over once that happens."
The Rio Tinto employee is no stranger to hard work and is predicting some heavy traffic to be aimed his way while also reprising his signature attacking play.
"Having been around here for a long time, people can come and laugh at me getting smashed," he said.
"I think I'll try my chip and chase one more time and see if it works."
Get your tickets to the Allstars game by calling Wendy on 0400497230.
- We're giving 30 lucky readers the chance to win a family pass to the Legends of League match.
- Entry forms will run in the paper daily and online from July 6-20.