Flanker Blair Middlemiss has been named the A-grade best and fairest player for the Fraser Coast Mariners this year.
Flanker Blair Middlemiss has been named the A-grade best and fairest player for the Fraser Coast Mariners this year. Alistair Brightman

Title surprises comeback kid

TAKING four years off playing rugby union to start a family certainly hasn't harmed Blair Middlemiss' abilities.

The open side flanker was named the side's best and fairest player for the year for the Fraser Coast Mariners, an accolade he certainly wasn't expecting.

Blair made the move from New Zealand to Australia in March, 2010, with his partner Erin.

The couple has two little girls, Danielle, 3, and Cale, 8 months.

His family has been cheering Blair on from the sideline ever since he returned to the sport, attending every home game and many of the away games on the Sunshine Coast.

Although the Mariners finished last in the Sunshine Coast Rugby Union competition this year, Blair said he had still enjoyed his time playing with the club and intended to do it again next year.

With a few other New Zealanders in the side, Blair is far from alone and said it led to some good-natured rivalry between the players.

"They are a good bunch of guys," he said.

Award winners

Best forwards in both grades: Peter Chalmers and Edward Ball

Best backs in both grades: Chris Wicks and Mark Tregaskis

Clubman of the Year: Peter Chalmers

Spirit of rugby award: Kale Hendle

Colts player of the year: Scott Carter-Lowe

Representative player of the year: Cameron Mead

Coach's award: Mark Tregaskis

Most improved: Mark Tregaskis

Best and fairest reserve grade: Tim Winnington

Best and fairest A grade: Blair Middlemiss

Players' player: Adam Bert



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