Brendan McKibbin was rewarded for an outstanding Super Rugby season with a call up to the Wallabies' squad for the last Test match of the year in 2012. Standing in for the injured Brett Sheehan, McKibbin was named on the bench for the final match of the Spring Tour, against Wales in Cardiff, gaining valuable experience although not a cap on this occasion. Born in the Scottish coastal town of Irvine, approximately 25 miles southwest of Glasgow, McKibbin moved to Australia with his family when he was three years old and grew up in Brisbane. Having first played rugby at John Eales's old school, Marist Brothers Ashgrove, his first representative honours came as an open-side flanker, a position he played for Queensland Schoolboys and the state’s Under-19s, before later switching to halfback when it became apparent that the position would be better suited to his smaller adult stature. Playing for the Ballymore Tornadoes in the 2007 Mazda Australian Rugby Championship, McKibbin made his Super Rugby debut for Queensland out of the Reds Academy in 2009. After four Super Rugby games, McKibbin moved to Sydney in 2009 to take up an opportunity with the HSBC Junior Waratahs, playing his club rugby for Eastern Suburbs. As the Shute Shield’s standout player, he won the 2010 Ken Catchpole Medal for the most outstanding player in the Sydney club rugby competition just two years after winning the equivalent award in Brisbane - making him the only player to achieve such a feat.Earning a position in the senior squad and widely considered the best goal-kicker at the time, McKibbin’s opportunities were limited by the presence of Luke Burgess, with his longest appearance of the 2011 season totalling just 18 minutes. In 2012, Burgess’ departure was compensated for by the arrival of South African marquee signing Sarel Pretorius. McKibbin’s tenacity and determination paid off when he was awarded man of the match on his run-on debut, following an outstanding performance that saw him score 17 points to help his side earn a 34-30 victory over the touring Sharks in the round five clash. Last season, McKibbin went on to become the team’s first choice halfback and goalkicker, playing in all but one of the team’s 16 Super Rugby matches, making the starting XV on eight occasions. Still a member of the Eastern Suburbs club he joined upon moving to Sydney in 2009, Brendan lives just a stone’s throw from the club’s Woollahra Oval ground in Coogee. Although his extended family remain in Kilmarnock, where he spent his early life before moving to Australia at the age of three, his mum, dad and sister still live in Brisbane. Despite his Scottish roots - Brendan doesn’t remember anything about Scotland, other than the family’s decision to move south in search of a warmer climate – the scrumhalf says his international allegiance lies firmly with Australia.When his playing days are over, Brendan plans to become a primary school teacher and is currently studying for a Bachelor of Education (Primary) at Edith Cowan/Open Universities Australia. Known as ‘Kibbo’ by his teammates, he has the reputation of a comedian and is constantly cited as the funniest player in the squad.Updated June 17, 2013
Sat Mar 19, 7:40PM AEDT
Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney
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