Tane Edmed: The multi sport superstar with the rugby world at his feet
It’s almost annoying how good Tane Edmed is.
The gifted 19-year old is arguably one of Australian sport’s most talented teenagers and has turned his back on potential careers in cricket and rugby league to chase his dreams in rugby.
The Randwick flyhalf has starred at Coogee in his first season of colts but his sporting journey could have gone a number of different ways.
“I’m loving my rugby at the moment. I couldn’t have picked a better club than Randwick to play colts at. The culture is great and it’s a really fun place to play,” he told Rugby News.
Edmed has every right to have a big head, considering his sporting resume, but the extremely modest teenager speaks humbly as he explains his slightly unorthodox sporting story.
The red head grew up playing cricket and received a scholarship to Trinity Grammar in Sydney after starring for NSW with the bat in a number of representative tournaments.
He got his first taste of rugby at Trinity, but played rugby league on the weekends and while cricket remained the focus, he was signed by the West Tigers to join their development program.
In 2017, Edmed also tried his hand at Rugby Sevens and was picked in the Australian U18s side a few months later.
He really could do anything!
But Cricket remained the focus, until a growth spurt in Year 11 forced him to reconsider his future.
“I started to really enjoy league again because I’d grown quite a bit,” Edmed said.
“Then when I went back to cricket in summer, I was playing all day Saturday and all day Sunday and never really got a weekend so I got pretty sick of it.”
“That’s around about the time when things started to click for me in rugby, as I started Year 12.
“In league, I was playing hooker whereas in rugby I was playing flyhalf and I much preferred that.
“After I had that growth spurt, I felt like I was a little bit wasted at hooker because I was just tackling and passing. I spoke to the Tigers about playing in the halves, but they still saw me as hooker so that sort of made the decision for me.”
In his final year at Trinity, a taller, stronger Edmed found his feet in rugby and at flyhalf, kicked a 42 metre penalty goal on the full time siren to hand Trinity victory over Joeys for the first time since 1987.
He was picked at No.10 for CAS, helped cause an upset win over GPS and earned selection in the NSW 1 side to play at the Australian Schools Championships, where he was eventually named in the Australian Barbarians squad.
“Playing with CAS and NSW was great. The NSW side was a bit of a superstar side, it was unreal playing with a lot of those guys,” he said.
“I was pretty disappointed to miss out on the Aussie Schoolboys, I have to admit, but I enjoyed playing with the Barbarians.
“Considering I hadn’t played any rep rugby the year before, I was pretty happy with how it turned out.”
After finishing school, Edmed was set to return to rugby league and the West Tigers before Rugby Australia approached him with a joint offer to play both Sevens and XVs.
He was released from his West Tigers contract in late 2018 and spent summer training with the Australian Sevens squad and the NSW U20s, then joined Randwick at the start of the 2019 colts season.
With Edmed steering the ship, the Galloping Greens have won their opening nine matches and lead the competition ahead of this weekend’s 2018 grand final rematch against Gordon.
“Our forward pack is unreal. The backrow – Liam Cornish, Finn Kearns and Joel Ellis – those boys have been killing it this year. Then our backs are pretty electric as well,” he said.
“It’s a tough competition. There’s the top four teams, but then the sides below them aren’t far behind and if you don’t turn up every week, you’re going to lose.”
Edmed said he benefited from splitting his summer training with the Aussie 7s squad and the Waratahs U20s.
“I’m trying to keep both options open at the moment and I’d like to keep playing both for as long as I can until an opportunity presents itself,” he said after a pretty hectic summer.
“I’m hoping to do another preseason with the Sevens squad over summer and stay involved and then see what happens with that squad after the Olympics.”
But the former leaguie said a Wallabies jersey was the ultimate goal, admitting the chance to wear gold down the track helped steer him away from league and towards rugby.
“All that stuff is a long way ahead of me but obviously Super Rugby is the goal and then looking really long term, I’d love to play for the Wallabies.
“It’s probably one of the biggest achievements you can get in Australian sport, more than playing league for Australia, but again I’m not really thinking too much about that yet.
“First, I want to win the colts comp with Randwick. I think we’ve got to team to do that and that’s my main priority.”
Randwick and Edmed’s undefeated colts side host second placed Gordon in a rematch of the 2018 Colts grand final at Coogee Oval at 3pm on Saturday.
Photo: Randwick Rugby