IT’S the news Queanbeyan Whites fans have been waiting more than 18 months to hear: the Chainsaw is back.
Outside-centre Jamie Marmont will make his return to Queanbeyan’s line-up this weekend when the Whites meet arch-rivals the Tuggeranong Vikings at Viking Park.
Marmont was one of the Whites’ best during the club’s dominance of the ACT Club Rugby competition from 2007 to 2010.
During that run, the flyer they call ‘Chainsaw’ developed a cult following among the Queanbeyan faithful. The Whites’ 2009 and 2010 premiership tilts were accompanied by the throaty roar of revving two-stroke engines whenever Marmont joined the fray.
But with the primary school teacher having spent 2011 completing his university studies in Sydney, the familiar sound of chainsaws coming to life on the sidelines was conspicuous in its absence.
Admittedly, at first meeting Marmont isn’t the kind of bloke you’d expect to go by such an imposing nickname. The affable 24-year-old has carried the Chainsaw moniker since his days at St Edmund’s College where he played alongside a number of his current Whites teammates.
‘‘We had a touring Irish team come out to Eddies when I was playing 13 (outside centre) and their outside centre was asking a couple of questions about me,’’ Marmont recalls. ‘‘I think our captain started telling a few stories about me, that I was 100kgs, that I ran 100 metres in 11 seconds and that they called me chainsaw just for a bit of a laugh. So it all started as a bit of a gee-up really but it took off from there.’’
During his time in the senior grades however, Marmont has more the justified the tag.
His powerful running and rock solid defence at one stage attracted the interest of Australian Sevens coach Michael O’Connor.
Marmont was included as part of Australian Sevens program in 2009 and is the kind of player who could benefit from the Brumbies increased focus on local players should he return to top form.
‘‘It’s the ultimate goal of any player in the local competition to get into the frame for the Brumbies,’’ Marmont says.
‘‘Jesse Mogg, Robbie Coleman, Nic White are all examples of guys who’ve done it, but I’m not going to get ahead of myself.’’
Marmont said his main concern currently was getting back to full fitness having only recently returned to the training paddock.
Save for an ill-fated cameo against Gungahlin last season that ended in a shoulder injury, tomorrow’s clash will be Marmont’s first game for Queanbeyan since the 2010 grand final.
‘‘I haven’t been too active playing sport for the past year so my fitness levels aren’t the best at the moment,’’ Marmont admits.
‘‘That should come with a bit of time though and once I get that fitness up, my game will improve from that.
"My only goal at the moment is to get back to the standard of footy I was playing in 2010."
And will the chainsaws with which he has become synonymous also be making a triumphant return this weekend?
‘‘I’d never say never, they might make anappearance...but we’ll have to wait and see,’’ Marmont laughs.