Hawthorn’s Jonathon Patton retires from AFL, apologises for ‘inappropriate behaviour towards women’


Hawthorn forward Jonathon Patton has quit the AFL and apologised for his “completely unacceptable” behaviour towards women.

Patton was stood down by the Hawks in January when at least four women accused him of sending sexually explicit photos and videos of himself via social media.

On Friday, the number one pick at the 2011 draft announced his retirement from the AFL, effective immediately.

“I also want to take this opportunity to apologise for my inappropriate behaviour towards women,” Patton said in a statement released by Hawthorn.

“Over the past few months, I have taken time to reflect on my mistakes.

“I am committed to continuing to learn from my mistakes and actively make the necessary changes.”

Soon after being stood down by the Hawks Patton was admitted to hospital, citing mental health concerns.

The club launched an investigation, which was taken over by the AFL’s Integrity Unit.

The AFL released a statement acknowledging Patton’s retirement and his apology to women.

“The AFL Integrity Unit, which was investigating the behaviour … has informed the complainants of Patton’s decision to retire,” an AFL statement said.

Patton was taken with the first selection at the 2011 draft by GWS and played 89 games for the Sydney-based club in a stint marred by having knee reconstruction surgeries three times.

He was traded to Hawthorn at the end of the 2019 season and, still troubled by various injuries, managed only six games for the Hawks.

Hawthorn and Patton released a statement about two hours after coach Alastair Clarkson fronted a media conference where Patton’s decision was not disclosed.

“I have made the difficult decision to retire from football to focus on my health, wellbeing, and future outside of the game,” Patton said in the statement.

“The constant battle to overcome injuries since I entered the AFL 10 years ago has been relentless and, on many occasions, overwhelming.

“As such, I will not play football at any level this year.”

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Champion walker Jared Tallent retires as Australia’s most decorated male track-and-field Olympian


Jared Tallent will walk proudly into retirement as Australia’s most prolific Olympic male track-and-field medallist.

He can be just as proud of the public stance he took against the scourge of doping in sport — mostly, in his case, the systemic cheating by Russian athletes that robbed him of major titles.

It’s somehow fitting that the crowning moment of Tallent’s career, winning the 50km title at the 2012 Olympics, needed almost four years to reach its denouement.

Tallent had crossed the line in London in second spot behind Sergey Kirdyapkin, only to later discover that the Russian had tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs both before and after the Games.

It took until mid-2016 for the Australian to finally have the gold medal draped around his neck at a ceremony in Melbourne.

“I’ve definitely made peace with that,” said Tallent, 36, who retired on Friday after a hamstring injury ruled him out of Saturday’s national championship race, ending his last chance of qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics.

“I know I’m the Olympic champion.

“Speaking out was a big thing for me because I just wanted the sport to be in a better place going forward, so people didn’t have to go through what I went through.

“With the whole Russian saga, I was probably caught in the middle of the worst period of it and it really affected my career.”

Even so, what a career it was.

On his Olympic debut in 2008, Tallent became the first Australian man since Stan Rowley in 1900 to win multiple athletics medals at the one Games, with silver in the 50km and bronze in the 20km.

“Being Olympic champion in London was definitely the highlight for me,” Tallent said. “But I’m also just really proud of the consistency I had, being able to win medals at championships year in and year out.

There was also another Olympic silver in the 50km at the 2016 Rio Games and three successive silver medals at the world championships in 2011, 2013 and 2015.

The 2011 silver should really have been a gold too, as he was beaten home by two Russians who later returned positive tests, but only one of them was disqualified.

Despite battling a series of injuries in recent years, Tallent had held out hope of bowing out on his own terms after a fourth Olympics campaign.

“I still wanted to win a medal in Tokyo,” he said.

“The last few years have been a real struggle; I’ve had a lot of setbacks with injury and a few things going on in my personal life.

“I also had some good periods where I thought everything was going in the right direction and I’d be able to get back to where I was.

Australian Olympic Committee president John Coates paid tribute to Tallent following his announcement.

“Congratulations to Jared on a remarkable career,” Mr Coates said.

“As Australia’s most decorated male track-and-field Olympian, Jared holds a special place in Australia’s rich Olympic history.

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Rockhampton’s top police officer Superintendent Ron Van Saane retires after 40 years


Three cyclones, 40 years and countless crimes. In every one of these events, Capricornia’s retiring top police officer Ron Van Saane remembers a person.

It could be the smiling child in Murgon whose life was turned around, or the crying face of a grieving mother whose life was shattered by a crash on a regional road.

As Superintendent Van Saane reflected on his retirement, he spoke about the future, his belief in his team and his hopes of overcoming the region’s domestic violence trend.

This year marks Superintendent Van Saane’s 40th in the police force and the seventh year of his Central Queensland domestic violence awareness campaign.

For the first in his career, he has also seen the smallest increase in domestic violence order (DVO) breaches at 5 per cent.

But again, Superintendent Van Saane doesn’t see the number.

He sees the faces of workers in central Queensland’s domestic violence prevention organisations and “a light at the end of a very long tunnel”.

In 1981, Superintendent Van Saane was a wide-eyed 19-year-old and commenced his first posting at the Cunnamulla Police Station.

“It was the wild west at times … I walked around with my mouth open for about a fortnight,” he said.

“There was a place at Cunnamulla they reckoned was the wildest pub in Australia at that time.

Superintendent Van Saane went on to work at police stations, including Bedourie to Murgon, where a senior sergeant’s unconventional demands reshaped his approach to policing.

“He wanted every officer … to have some sort of connection with [the local rugby] club,” he said.

Superintendent Van Saane spent afternoons and weekends volunteering at the club in a range of roles.

From working in the canteen to driving the club bus, his focus was on building a connection with the young club members aged from ages six to 16.

“Kids that have had a hard run in life … no one knows the future, but there was a high chance they weren’t going to have an easy run,” Superintendent Van Saane said.

“And then you see them later on and you see that they’ve survived, they’re going well, and you just think, ‘Well, I may have played a part – a small part – in those successes’.

Superintendent Van Saane arrived in Capricornia in the aftermath of the 2011 floods and has seen the region cope with natural disasters every two years; including cyclones, fires and the pandemic.

But he said the greatest disaster he had faced was an ever-rising trend of domestic violence.

“The watershed moment was 2011,” Superintendent Van Saane said.

It pushed him to coordinate a domestic violence campaign that united government and non-government agencies across the region and resulted in a myriad of social and online initiatives.

“All those organisations now talk a lot closer and interact a lot more than they used to,” he said.

Superintendent Van Saane said last year was the first time in his career that the region saw an increase in DVO breaches that was in the single digits.

In that decrease, he sees the families who have been saved from violence.

“The good cases where three agencies have got together and really helped them out of this horror they’ve been in,” he said.

“We’ve still got a long way to go”

Tomorrow Superintendent Ron Van Saane will retire as Capricornia district duty officer feeling positive about the strengths of his team, his community and the region’s future.

“You might say it’s grandiose and a bit over emotive … but people are good,” he said.

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Cameron Smith, NRL and Melbourne Storm great, retires from rugby league


“I’ve tried to spend as much time as I can with my three kids and my wife. We go paddle-boarding, I get to take them to school and pick them up and attend certain things that they are doing that I couldn’t do when I was playing rugby league.

“That and I can play more golf. Over that period that all has helped me make my decision. I enjoyed having that time to myself and my family and not having to give up the things that I’ve given up for a long, long time.”

Smith said last year’s premiership had also made him see he had a fairytale exit available.

“It felt like the right time to finish off the back of what was a very successful season last year albeit a very different season being away from home and everyone knows we didn’t get an opportunity to play down here in front of home fans,” Smith said.

“You couldn’t have asked for more than to finish with a premiership at a club I have played my entire career with.”

Smith said he had wrestled with playing on in Queensland as he still felt he could play in the NRL but wanted to be a one-club player. He hoped to stay involved in the game in some form but is in talks about what he will do.

Storm legends Cameron Smith (left) and Billy Slater with their statues at AAMI Park.Credit:Getty Images

“I had to wrestle with that decision,” Smith said.

“That is the thing that made it more difficult. Winning the premiership last year I still felt good within myself and I still felt my form was good enough to play in the NRL but once I spent quality time with my family, I knew it was the right time to finish.

“Now it gives me the opportunity to enjoy the next phase, next chapter of my life and hopefully it will involve rugby league in some capacity.”

“In my head, I probably made the decision a week ago but knowing the statue unveiling would be on today and I’d be in Melbourne. I thought it was the perfect opportunity to announce my decision given this is where me and Billy started our career, right here at Olympic Park in 2002, and this is where I wanted to officially end it as well and I got to stand with my good friend Billy as well.

“That was probably one of the main considerations really given the amount of time I had spent here and what I tried to build with guys like Billy, Cooper Cronk, Ryan Hoffman, Jesse Bromwich and Ryan Hinchcliffe who put a lot of work into developing the sport of rugby league and the organisation of Melbourne Storm to what it is today.

“That was a major factor.”

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Smith’s declaration came via an announcement from Storm on social media. The club paid tribute to Smith, who played his entire career at the Storm, for the “immeasurable contribution to our club on and off the field” and a legacy that “will be remembered in Melbourne forever”.

Smith, the NRL games record-holder with 430 games and the only NRL player to play more than 400 games, won three premierships with the Storm in a career full of accolades.

“Cameron Smith has today announced his retirement from professional rugby league. Cam is not only among the most decorated players the game has ever seen, he made an immeasurable contribution to our club on and off the field, and his legacy will be remembered in Melbourne forever,” the Storm tweeted.

In recent years, the Storm have successfully replaced Slater and Cooper Cronk but now have the toughest task of all: replacing Smith. The 37-year-old, who made his debut in 2002, has been one of the game’s greatest players during his distinguished career, which also includes a decorated State of Origin career for Queensland, and representing Australia.

He played 56 Tests for Australia, 42 State of Origin matches, and was an integral part of the Maroons’ incredible Origin run when they won 11 series in 12 years.

Smith was also a dual Dally M Medallist, a dual Golden Boot winner and an eight-time Dally M Hooker of the Year. He claimed the Wally Lewis Medal, as man of the Origin series, four times, and was also a four-time Dally M representative player of the year and a five-time Dally M captain of the year.

Speculation about Smith’s future had been constant since the Storm won the 2020 NRL premiership.

Storm star Ryan Papenhuyzen tweeted his best wishes for Smith in retirement, saying he “still can’t believe I got to take the field with the GOAT [emoji]″⁣.

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In a statement, Australian Rugby League Commission chairman Peter V’landys said Smith was a role model “who did his club, state and nation proud”.

”Cameron is an undisputed legend of our sport and his records may never be broken,” he said.

“Year after year Cameron defied age and science to remain arguably the best player in the competition.

“In many ways today is an historic moment for our game. So many of our young fans have never witnessed an NRL season without Cameron Smith. His contribution to the game will last generations.”

NRL chief executive Andrew Abdo added that Smith’s feats would “be part of our rich history forever”.

“Rugby league has been played since 1908 in Australia. In 113 years the game has produced some wonderful athletes, but none have managed to play 430 NRL matches, 42 State of Origins and 56 Tests,” he said in the statement.

“We have one of the fastest and toughest competitions in the world, with some of the world’s best athletes. Today we celebrate the end of the playing career of one of the most successful, versatile and dedicated players and leaders to have ever played the game.”

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St Kilda’s Dylan Roberton retires from AFL ahead of 2021 season as he puts ‘family and future first’


St Kilda defender Dylan Roberton says he has made his family and health his top priorities by deciding to retire immediately from the AFL.

Roberton, who played 129 senior matches for the Saints and Fremantle, announced his retirement this afternoon, two weeks out from the opening round of the AFL season.

He had played just one AFL match since collapsing at Kardinia Park due to a heart condition while playing for the Saints against Geelong in 2018.

The 29-year-old has been away from the club since January as he weighed up his future.

“I’ve come to a point where I need to put my family and future first,” Roberton said in a St Kilda statement.

“Football has been a huge part of my life for such a long time and I’ve never lost my passion for the game.

“But after lengthy discussions with my family and on the advice of my doctors, I’ve made the extremely hard decision to hang up the boots.”

Following his on-field collapse in 2018, Roberton suffered another incident of heart irregularity during a 2019 preseason match in Ballarat.

He sat out the entire 2019 season but returned to the field in round one last year.

The 2020 season was suspended following round one because of the coronavirus pandemic and Roberton did not feature again at the AFL level following the premiership’s resumption in June.

Saints coach Brett Ratten said the club would continue to support Roberton.

“Dylan is a much-loved and well-respected member of our club,” he said.

“He should be really proud of how he has dealt with everything life has thrown at him — it’s a real credit to his character.

“Dylan has a great footy brain and he’ll remain an asset to our program for the remainder of 2021.”

Roberton played 92 matches for St Kilda after joining the club from Fremantle.

He made 37 senior appearances for the Dockers, having debuted in the 2010 season.

Roberton became a key figure in St Kilda’s defence during his time at the club and made the 40-man All-Australian squad in 2017.

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Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium curator Mark Rigby retires but stargazing will never end


Throughout his career under the cosmic skydome at Mount Coot-Tha, Mr Rigby presented about 15,000 shows, inspiring an estimated audience of 1 million people.

Dubbed the “Star Man” by his colleagues, Mr Rigby said in later years his attention had turned towards Earth.

“I must say that over those 36 years, as we’ve looked out, towards the end I’m looking more back, towards our own planet and the need to look after it,” he said.

“But we still don’t know if this is the only one with life, so that’s the big question.”

That “big question” — whether intelligent life exists elsewhere — has driven Mr Rigby’s commitment to science education.

“It’s more important than ever now, especially in the context of our planet,” he said.

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Chief lifeguard Warren Young retires after 48 years


He has spent most of his adult life patrolling some of the busiest beaches in Australia, pulling struggling swimmers to safety and coordinating the nation’s largest unit of professional lifeguards.

But after close to 50 years in the job, Warren Young still refuses to watch Jaws.

Despite his reluctance to see the Spielberg classic, Warren’s last day on the job after 48 years has been celebrated across the Gold Coast.

Former Honolulu chief lifeguard Ralph Goto met Warren Young in 1985 while on a fact finding mission to the Gold Coast.

“He is very well respected around the world,” Mr Goto said.

“I was told when I first started my job, ‘you need to go to Los Angeles and Australia to see about lifeguarding’.

Mr Goto said Mr Young’s professionalism and dedication to lifeguarding in the face of drownings and injuries, is “probably the most outstanding I can think of”.

“You have to learn how to deal with people, learn how to deal with survivors and most importantly, are there lessons to learn from these tragedies?

“Warren is always striving to improve things and that’s why I feel the Gold Coast lifeguard agency is one of the best in the world.”

Ironman legend Trevor Hendy said Mr Young has been “a gift to the Gold Coast”.

“Not just as a lifeguard and chief lifeguard, but as an incredible human, the energy you bring,” he said.

Miami Surf Life Saving Club mate Jon Schubel takes a morning swim with Mr Young every Friday.

Mr Schubel said, after 53 years as a club member, Mr Young had been happy to give the club’s volunteers some tongue-in-cheek advice.

“He’ll ask us after patrol ‘did anyone drown today?'” he said.

“Same thing every week.”

But Mr Schubel said Warren’s friendship and humour had been “good for the soul” and the Miami Surf Club community.

“It’s contagious,” he said.

“It’s good to unwind after a week at work and just speak absolute rubbish.”

Mr Young’s daughter Jessica Weatherall said growing up with her father had been “just a constant extroverted extravaganza”.

“Dad remembers everyone, he likes to talk to everyone,” she said.

“When I was younger, I was a little bit embarrassed by it but and an adult I feel really proud of him.”

Jess said she’s grown to appreciate how important his job has been but is looking forward to him spending more time with her children.

“One really beautiful thing about retirement for us is probably getting a bit more time with him,” she said.

Mr Young said among his top achievements was establishing lifeguard towers between Surfers Paradise and Southport in 1989, which at the time was known as “death alley”.

“Because of the number of rescues and drownings and the proliferation of high-rise and no safety measures in place.”

Today the City of Gold Coast named the the lifeguard centre in Burleigh Heads after the 71-year-old, but Mr Young thanked his fellow professional lifesavers.

“Our crew have been ambassadors because it’s one thing where there’s no script when people come up to you,” he said.

“It’s a really, really rewarding job … a lot of people do say thanks.”

As for his last daily surf report, Mr Young told ABC Gold Coast that “it’s a glorious morning”.

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Rugby news 2021, Dan Carter retires, retirement, reaction, All Blacks, New Zealand rugby


All Blacks legend Dan Carter, a three-time world player of the year and double World Cup winner, announced his retirement on Saturday.

The fly-half, who remains the record points-scorer in both Test and Super Rugby, said he was “sad” to call it quits.

“I’m officially retiring from professional rugby,” Carter wrote on Instagram. “A sport I’ve played for 32 years which has helped shape me into the person I am today.”

Carter, who turns 39 in two weeks, said the “timing is right”, after nearly two decades at the top.

As accolades flooded social media – with major rugby-playing nations all paying homage — the sport’s governing body World Rugby described him as “one of the best to have ever played the game”.

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Corowa vet and large animal specialist Rowley Bennett retires after half a century | The Border Mail


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ROWLEY Bennett had never even met a vet when he went away to university to study veterinary science. Growing up on the family farm in remote Brewarrina in north-west NSW, it was strictly Darwinian theory: survival of the fittest. The nearest veterinary clinic was 380 kilometres away. “Our dogs lived or they died,” he says, matter-of-factly. “I remember one of our neighbours took their dog to Dubbo, 300 miles away, and it nearly made front page news. “That was pretty extraordinary!” Yet that must now seem like a world away to the quintessential country vet who has covered hundreds of thousands of kilometres over five decades in his quest to give quality care to creatures, however great or small. With ABC Radio for company, Rowley clocked up 70,000 kilometres a year at the peak of his working life. Now 71, it’s somewhere more in the order of 40,000-50,000 kilometres. “It’s not very hard to do 300 kilometres in a day,” Rowley says. “I used to have a lot more remote clients so the kilometres have come down over the years.” Having chalked up 42 years at Corowa Veterinary Clinic last year, Rowley has well and truly earned his stripes, particularly as a large animal specialist, on-call to farmers and horse owners throughout the southern Riverina. By all accounts, he is a rare breed himself. Browns Plains mixed farmers Graeme and Beth Fisher, Emohrou, who have been Rowley’s clients for the long haul, will always remember a house call that went above and beyond the call of duty. Mr Fisher says one Christmas morning, he found a cow in real trouble, wretched, unable to calve. “I had the usual farmer’s job of trying to help her but I couldn’t manage to get it,” Mr Fisher recalls. “On the off chance he’d come, I rang Rowley at 10am on Christmas Day. “He said he’d be there in half an hour and sure enough, he turned up at 10.30! “It’s his nature to help anybody he knows who would only ring him when they’re in a major situation. “I wasn’t looking forward to the bill, but it turned out to be no different to any ordinary bill!” IN OTHER NEWS: Within two years of arriving at Corowa, Rowley took over the country practice outright; later expanding the service with branches at Howlong and Chiltern. He made it his business to nurture his large-scale patch, even when that involved long and often unpredictable hours, sometimes seven days a week. With a dogged determination derived from his hard-working father, Rowley did not like to let any situation get the better of him. A vet at his dad’s behest, Rowley still wouldn’t have had it any other way. “My father said: ‘You’re going to be a vet; there’s no money in farming!’,” Rowley recalls. “My father was very ambitious and he was very ambitious for me. “It was tough love when you’re only 11 or 12. “But I’m a reasonably determined person and I was brought up by a determined man. “I hate failure and not achieving what I set out to do; if you don’t try hard you’re only striving for mediocrity.” To build a healthy veterinary practice over more than four decades, Rowley evolved the business to cater for the growth in “small animal work”. Yet often the large animals do leave the lasting impressions. “When the Billabong Creek flooded a few years ago, there were horses trapped in water at Walbundrie,” he recalls. “(Late horseman and actor on Return to Snowy River) Graeme Fry and I walked into the water, waist-deep, to get those stallions out. “They hadn’t had a lot of handling; it probably wasn’t very veterinary-wise but we managed to get them out!” Armed with more than enough anecdotes to write a book, Rowley will retire on Monday, knowing he’s covered a lot of ground, made life-long friends with clients and cared for their animals to the best of his ability. Now undergoing treatment for cancer, Rowley will move to Canberra immediately to start the next chapter of his life with his teacher’s aide partner. His Fernhill Angus stud at Corowa will keep him coming back to the region. A father to Karl and Rex and grandfather of five, Rowley says his health and relationships will be his priorities, but he will come to miss his veterinary practice. “I actually still really like the work and after 50 years of doing it, that’s good!” he quips. “The thing that grieves me most of all is that I feel I have to retire because of my age and the health aspect; I get tired easier and that’s reasonable at 71. “I still really enjoy the work and I’m committed to my clients and doing the right thing by them and their animals. “Not in any way trying to sound ostentatious, but I would hate to think that by not being available an animal wouldn’t get the care it needed like a cow in trouble calving or a horse with colic or a dog hit by a car.” Finding it difficult to sell his veterinary clinic, Rowley believes a vet shortage is nigh. “The shortage of vets, in my opinion, is catastrophic, specifically large animal vets,” he says. “Successive governments have underfunded tertiary institutions, which have had to rely on overseas students who pay up front and then chuff off home after they graduate. “We have 850 vet graduates a year and in spite of that we’re barely keeping up with demand. “The government has let down the profession and it will take a long time to turn it around. The public is demanding more and more vet care and there seems to be less and less care available.” Even more alarming, Rowley says the suicide rate for vets is four times that for other occupations. “It’s a pretty stressful occupation and you’ve got to be mentally tough to cope with the hours, the challenges and the disappointments.” Despite that, Rowley is widely regarded for his compassion and optimism. “He’d never say there’s no chance,” long-term client and friend Mr Fisher says. “We respect him as a vet and as a friend; we will certainly miss him. “We’ll never have another country vet like him.”

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Dan Carter: All Black great retires from professional rugby


Dan Carter won the World Cup in 2011 and 2015

New Zealand’s Dan Carter, who won two World Cups and is world rugby’s record points scorer, has announced his retirement from professional rugby.

The fly-half, 38, won the last of his 112 All Blacks caps with a man-of-the-match display in the 2015 World Cup final win over Australia.

He has since played for French club Racing 92 and Japan’s Kobelco Steelers.

The three-time world player of the year returned to New Zealand for a bbrief spell with the Auckland Blues in 2020.

In an emotional post on Instagram,external-link Carter wrote: “I’ve thought about this on so many occasions but today is the day and I am very grateful that I can do it on my terms. I’m officially retiring from professional rugby. A sport I’ve played 32 years which has helped shape me into the person I am today.

“I can’t thank everyone who has played a part in my journey enough, particularly you, the fans. I’m excited about my next chapter in life and what that will look like. For now, I’m sad to walk away from playing but the timing is right. Rugby will always be a part of my life.”

In an interview with the New Zealand Herald,external-link Carter said he had lost his motivation on his return home to play with the Blues in June 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“The more I took time off the more I realised I didn’t want to play overseas and not having the drive to play here I knew in my mind the time was right,” he said.

Carter, who turned out for his childhood rugby club Southbridge in July, did not make an appearance for the Blues in Super Rugby Aotearoa last year.

His professional career started in 2002 and he has won three Super Rugby titles with the Crusaders and is the competition’s record scorer, as well as winning league titles in Japan and France.

Carter also won the World Cup in 2011, but missed the latter stages of the competition due to a groin injury.

His 1,598 points in international rugby are 352 ahead of England’s Jonny Wilkinson, who Carter memorably came up against and defeated in the 2005 British & Irish Lions series.

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