Courageous Gen Blue backrower influencing the Wright way 11/01/2018 By NSW Waratahs Media unit What started out as an ordinary rugby day for young Fletcher Wright turned out to be one that would change his outlook on life. Wright, a backrower at Bathurst’s St. Stanislaus’ College, qualified for the Generation Blue representative side after appearing in the New South Wales Schools outfit at selection trials. While representing NSW in the Under 16’s National Championships on the Gold Coast in late 2017, Wright suffered a knock to his head in the first match of the tournament. An initial routine Head Injury Assessment (HIA) showed no sign of anything out of the ordinary but the assessing tournament doctor still had doubts. An HIA is the mandatory procedure team doctors follow when a player receives a head knock. Wright takes up the story. “I passed all the tests and I said to the doctor that this happens to me all the time. He got a bit worried and he asked me to get an MRI when I got home.” The young lad was ruled out of the tournament and following the doctor’s orders, a follow up MRI scan delivered heart-wrenching news. “I got the MRI done and it turned out I had a seven-centimetre tumour in my brain,” he said. “I didn’t know what to think of it. I was upset, but I just thought it’s happened now, let’s just get through it. There’s no point moaning about it, we’ve just got to get it done. “Everyone’s been so supportive of me to help me get through this.” A big admirer of the young player’s courage and determination was NSW Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson, who invited the 16-year-old and his family to the team’s new training base in Daceyville to see the team in action. “It was an honour to have Fletcher in to address the team. He has gone through his own personal adversities and displays the courage that we all are going to have to display when we have to face our obstacles,” Gibson said. Wright is determined to get back to full health and while he is recovering, he has been named as the “water boy” for his school’s 1st XV tour to Fiji according to his father, Ben. “Fletcher has been named as the 26th man for his school’s rugby tour, but he will be supporting the team as the official water boy. “The Stannies (St. Stanislaus’ College) coach wants him there as part of the squad, which will give him the chance to be around his mates and the team environment in general. It will be great for Fletcher being involved because once he is back to full strength, he can hit the ground running on the rugby front,” he said. NSW Waratahs supporters have a chance to see the team at home for the first time on 15 February. And tickets for the pre-season match against the Melbourne Rebels at Brookvale Oval go on sale at midday on 10 January. Members get to go for free. To secure your seat, head to www.ticketmaster.com.au/waratahs.