There’s no opportunity for hesitation or fear when you play Hooker in Super Rugby. It’s a position that demands acute bravery, grit and tenacity. Nathan Charles embodies all of these things and more. At just the young age of 22 he already made his mark on first grade rugby with impressive performances for the Western Force since he debuted in 2010.
Prior to that he played for the ACT Brumbies in 2008 and 2009 before heading to the Force as injury cover for 2 weeks, 2 weeks turned into 7 seasons. In 2011 Nathan also did a short stint with English premiership club Gloucester, also know as the cherry and whites. As a junior his natural footballing talent ensured he had the option of choosing to play either NRL or Rugby Union. His inclusion in the 2006 Schoolboys rugby squad cemented his commitment to Rugby and the sport is undoubtedly richer for it.
Looking at Nathan’s resumé it would be easy to assume that his life has been a dream run of success after success. His achievements glisten with gold but an incredible amount of hard work belies all of his triumphs. At just three months old he was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, a genetic disease that significantly effects the lungs and the pancreas. It is a can be a devastating condition that traditionally has a life expectancy of just 37 years old.
Upon diagnosis, Nathan’s parents were told that he may not make it to his tenth birthday. In the face of such adversity and with a future that looked to be laden with immense challenges his resolve never faltered. Nathan has never viewed his condition an obstacles to success. He is adamant that he not be defined by cystic fibrosis and is passionate about raising awareness of the perils of the disease in his position as a national ambassador for Cystic Fibrosis Australia.
Nathan doesn’t need lashings of praise or hyperbole, his story speaks volumes. He has the unmistakable markings of a respected leader and is an inspiration to many.
- A member of the Sydney under 16s team and competed in the National Rugby Union Championships.
- Signed a 2 year deal with the Canterbury bulldogs SG ball and under 20s side.
- Made the Knox Grammar 1st XV side and competed in the CAS (Combined Associated Schools) Competition
- Selected in the Opens CAS 2nd XV as a 16 year old
- Made the Knox Grammar 1st XV and competed in the CAS (combined associated schools) competition and was vice captain
- Selected in the CAS 2nd XV
- Selected in the NSW 1st XV ,which competed in the National Australian Championships, alongside Kurtley Beale, Paddy Ryan and Rob Horne.
- Represented the Australian Schoolboys team which played against the Fiji under 18s and New Zealand schoolboys team.
- A member of the Canterbury Bulldogs SG Ball side (Rugby League) that made the semi finals.
- Gained admission to Sydney University to study a bachelors of Arts and Sciences.
- Joined the Sydney University Rugby Club and played in the colts 1st XV to win the grand final against Eastwood, where Nathan scored 2 tries. Nathan was awarded Colts 1st XV best forward.
- Awarded with a scholarship to Macquarie Bank through the Australian Schoolboys program and gained work experience in many facets of the organisation.
- Played in the 1st grade side for Sydney University, and scored a try in the grand final win over Randwick 45-22.
- Awarded the Sydney Morning Herald Rookie of the Year.
- Selected in the Australian under 20s team that competed in the IRB Junior World Championship in Wales and finished 5th. Nathan played alongside the likes of Will Genia, David Pocock, Quade Cooper, Ben Daley and Ben Mccalman.
- Rewarded with his first professional contract with the ACT Brumbies for the 2009 season.
- Played in the 1st grade side for Sydney University and scored a try in the grand final win over Randwick 24-19
- Selected in the Australian under 20s side that competed in Japan that finished 4th.
- Played a number of state games for the ACT Brumbies and ACT Brumbies Runners. Contract extended for the 2010 season.
- Tour France with the ACT Brumbies Development Team that played against Bourgoin, Perpignan, Bayonne and Toulon.
- Played in the 1st Grade side for Sydney University in the grand final win over Randwick at the SFS
- Called in for injury cover at the Western Force and made his Super Rugby debut in Round 7 game vs the Stormers which the Force won 17-15. Nathan ended up playing 7 games with the Western Force that year; starting in 2 games.
- Made an 80m run to set up a try in the Western Force’s 24-16 win over the Crusaders.
- Nathan’s efforts at the Force were rewarded with a 2 year contract that would take him till the end of the 2012 season.
- Selected in the 40 man Wallabies squad for the training camp prior to the end of season tour to the UK.
- Through the rigors of professional rugby, Nathan completed his Bachelors of Arts and Sciences degree majoring in History and Business.
- Played in all 16 games for the Western Force and started in 8 of them.
- Involved in the pre World Cup Wallabies camps, although not selected in the final squad.
- Signed a 6 week deal with Gloucester Rugby Union in the Aviva Premiership in England, and played in 3 games; starting in one of them.
- Started all 16 games for the Western Force and played the most amount of minutes throughout the whole season. Nathan is the only player to start in every match (16 games in total)
- Played for Sydney University in their grand final vs Southern Districts which they won 15-14
- Nathan was awarded with The Whole Force Player of the Year Award, selected by the fans.
- Signed a new 2 year deal which will keep Nathan at the Western Force until the end of the 2014 season.
- Started season strongly as Hooker for Western Force playing first five games before a knee injury cuts his season short.
- Recovered from his knee injury, Nathan, is back in his regular position as Hooker for the Western Force.
- In June Nathan is selected for the Wallabies and makes his Test debut against France in Melbourne.
- July Nathan re-signs for a further two years with the Western Force after their most successful season to date.
- The Wallabies halt the All Blacks’ winning streak with a 12-12 draw.
- After four games with the Wallabies Nathan tears his pectoral muscle from the bone ruling him out of further Wallabies matches for the 2014 season.
- After missing 5 months of action he recovered from his pec injury, Nathan, is back in his regular position as Hooker for the Western Force.
- Nathan Started all 16 games for the Force throughout their Super rugby campaign.
- After a strong pre season Nathan starts for the Force before dislocating his shoulder against the Crusaders in Perth, this required a shoulder reconstruction and another 6 month stint on the sidelines.
- After a strong rehab, Nathan decided to head to Sydney to make his debut in the NRC for the Western Sydney Rams, after his second game for the Rams which they beat QLD country after the bell with a penalty try from a scrum he was picked up by ASM Clermont Ferrand a top 14 club in France.
- After signing as a medical joker for 3 months, playing in both the Top 14 and European competitions Nathan returned home to Australia to get married.