Schifcofske to leave Reds



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Clinton Schifcofske is leaving Queensland and heading for Belfast, which means that the Reds have six players signing off with the Super 14 match against the Waratahs at Suncorp Stadium.

Sources have confirmed that Irish province Ulster will be the goal-kicking full-back/wing’s home for the next three seasons, siphoning another class act from the Reds’ ranks reports the Courier Mail.

Schifcofske is believed to have informed teammates of his decision this week, but he has kept it from the public forum so he takes none of the spotlight from David Croft who is retiring.

The act is typical of the modest yet highly valued Schifcofske, who thoroughly deserves fanfare of his own as he brings to a close a fine 13-year career in two codes.

Fittingly, the unpredictable stepper’s farewell will be at Suncorp Stadium and against NSW, two landmark cues in his career.

This same ground was home in 1996 for an apprentice diesel mechanic from Moranbah when he cracked rugby league’s top tier with South Queensland Crushers. A decade later, he put the icing on a memorable State of Origin triumph for Queensland with the clutch conversion that killed off NSW in Melbourne.

Schifcofske, 32, would dearly love to snuff out another NSW challenge, at Suncorp Stadium, when the underdog Reds strive to topple the Waratahs for the first time since 2004.

His teammates put into words the feeling among the Reds side.

“Come full-time, it will be a massive part of my life over and I only want to remember one result . . . a win to regain the Bob Templeton Cup,” Croft said.

France-bound half-back Sam Cordingley said: “This is the biggest game Queensland can play. These are the nights you remember, and it’s the last for me.”

They are sentiments shared by a tight group of teammates because this 80 minutes of glory-or-bust rugby will be a watershed for Queensland rugby.

The fixture also marks the end of days in Queensland for hooker Stephen Moore who will move to the Brumbies next year and Prop Rodney Blake looks almost certain to be heading for France.

Bench lock Ed O’Donoghue, who can ply his trade in Europe as a local because of his father’s Irish heritage, has also been revealed as a “certain” Ulster capture.

If you add England-bound Chris Latham, whose on-field farewell was cruelly scuttled by a ruptured pectoral muscle, more than 400 games of experience is leaving the Reds.

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