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Monday, 22 September 2014
Page: 9955


Mr EWEN JONES (Herbert) (13:56): Townsville's North Queensland Cowboys lost on Friday night. Enough said! Rugby League is a professional sport and players go where the money is. They have their contracts cancelled through injury or poor form, or they can just be collateral damage. They say that footballers cannot get too close to a community, because they can be gone next week, but that cannot stop us in the community really loving some of these players.

Ashton Sims is one of those men. He and his family fit into Townsville like a right hand goes around a can of XXXX bitter ale. Ashton leaves our city to take a up with Warrington in the UK, leaving our city desperately short of Metallica fans and Thor, God of Thunder, impersonators. He plays every game with great intensity and passion and he is surely a fierce competitor.

The image I will keep of him though is that of a doting father and husband. This man who has captained Fiji and played for the Broncos, St George and the Cowboys, frames everything he does around his family. He spoke of the Townsville fires trophy night last year. He said he not only loved the game of basketball but also was proud to take his children to see strong, talented, intelligent female role models to whom his daughter could aspire. I do not claim to know him well at all, but I am a huge fan of the way he plays the game and the way he carries himself. I speak on behalf of a great city and a grateful Rugby League community when I say that he will be genuinely missed. I wish him and his family all the very best for the future.