Keeghan Sefton is proof you can never change a Tiger’s stripes

By Michael Atkinson

You can’t change a Tiger’s stripes.

Keeghan Sefton moved to Australia from Tauranga, New Zealand, at the age of 12 and played his first six years of club rugby at Easts Tigers, at Bottomley Park.

After graduating from Brisbane State High School, alongside an all-star cast including Curtis Browning, Samu Kerevi and Chris Feauai-Sautia, Sefton decided to continue his rugby apprenticeship at Souths in their Colts program.

The change of scenery did the young outside back a world of good.

A second XV player at State High, Sefton developed into a quality Premier Rugby talent at Chipsy Wood.

But the lure of playing with old mates and under an old coach was too strong and the former Tiger-turned-Magpie, became a Tiger again.

“It’s honestly been a couple of years in the making; ever since Sione (Fukofuka) became Assistant Coach (at Easts),” Sefton told Rugby News.

“He coached us at school and he took me to Souths at the time.”

“He messaged me and Preston (Springhall) for last year, and Preston took him up, but I thought I’d stay at Souths and have another crack. That worked well for the first half of the year, until I got injured.”

Deep down, the “blue and yellow stripes” were always beaming proudly under his black and white Souths jersey.

“(It was) just to go back to my roots, sort of thing,” revealed Sefton.

“I’ve got a lot of mates at Easts and I played juniors there, so I kind of wanted to play with those mates again.”

Since his return, Sefton has linked with good mates Matt Gordon and Logan Tibbetts to form one of Premier Rugby’s deadliest backlines in 2018.

But this weekend he returns to face his old side at Chipsy Wood Oval.

Having spent several seasons at “The Nest”, he’s acutely aware of the ‘welcome’ he’s about to receive from people who used to support him.

“I got a fair bit of it in the trial match,” Sefton laughed.

“But most of those guys I’m still good friends with, so it’s all just a bit of banter.”

“It’s a good opportunity for me to put my foot forward as well, at the new club, and show them what I’ve got.”

After a nail-biting first round loss to UQ a fortnight ago, Sefton and the Tigers are keen to notch up a crucial away win against a Quade Cooper-led Souths side.

“We’re building nicely,” said Sefton.

“Would’ve been nice to get a win over Uni but (it) didn’t go our way in the end.”

Easts get the opportunity to make things right at Chipsy Wood Oval on Saturday at 3:20pm.