Player: Mark Davenport aka Jumper
Position: Ex Back , Now Anywhere in the Forwards
Team: Maroondah Rugby Club
5 Nations team: Old Blacks 45s Co-Captain with Nigel Aiken
Mark ,Kiwi born but Australia is now Home.
Played School Boy rugby on the left wing /fullback and his idol then was the great Beegee Williams.
1st Xv player for Taradale High School ,Hawkes Bay Schoolboy trialist and a move down to Tawa in Wellington Mark played for the 1st XV in his last years of School
Freak accident helping out friends in a factory with a Forklift , Forklift won, crushed his big toe and it had to be amputated!So for a Kiwi no more Jandals!.
Played 2 years Social rugby at Canterbury University once back on track and then moved to Wellington to play Seniors for Hutt Old Boys where Mark (Cowboy) Shaw was to become the Seniors captain.
Appeared on a local TV show called Perfect Match as his Employer Dominion Breweries sponsored the show.
After the 3 questions he was picked as the winner and won 2 nights in the Gold Coast with a complete stranger while his girlfriend looked on from the Audience. Quote...."Not my finest moment!"
Move to Sydney soon came after this as the Chaperone of the trip to Gold Coast for 2 winning couples, Mark hit it off with and as she lived in Sydney so he made the move across the ditch to give it a go!
2 years in Sydney and playing Senior rugby for Waverley Rugby Union Club where he played with the likes of Owen Finnegan before another rugby opportunity from Wales came beckoning.
After 2 ½ years in Swansea and Cardiff he flew back to Sydney to trial out at Randwick and life changed for him on December the 12th 1994.
3 stories high Mark was running around the roof balcony , sidestepped over an Irish girl who flipped him onto the Balcony and unfortunately his balance tipped him over the edge and he ended up falling 3 stories head first onto a parked car.
He sustained life threatening injuries, Aorta tear, Punctured lung, broken ribs , broken jaw, broken pelvis , torn Urethra , small and large intestine damage, spleen removal , head injuries, kidney damage and was put into an induced coma for 19 days.
Waking up on January the 1st 1995 in Intensive care he was to stay in Hospital for a further 3 months to recover from his injuries and to this day praises the Doctors and Nurses at the Prince of Wales Hospital in Randwick for saving his life. During this period, he lost his gall bladder and had a colostomy bag reversal.
Having to learn to walk again and lots of various rehab he was released after 3 ½ months weighing 47 kilos, ½ the body weight he was when admitted.
Back to New Zealand to recover with his Mother he lived in Wanaka for a year to recover and restart his life.
Australia had saved him so after rebuilding his life in NZ after a year he moved back to Sydney in 1997, changed his surname to his Mother’s maiden name , Davenport and started life again!
Not thinking rugby was a possibility he got into the Travel Industry in Sydney until his brother moved to Melbourne for a girl , married her and then divorced!
Moved to Melbourne in 2003 ,and was cycling up Burwood Road when a 4WD took him out and smashed his right clavicle and damaged his right kidney again, so another hospital visit and he had to have a plate and 3 pins placed into the clavicle and his right kidney removed.
An opportunity to learn about the Australian wine and beer industry Mark worked part time in the Armadale Cellars during this time where he helped work in the Melbourne Rugby Union Club in their clubroom bar and met a few of the Gerries there who were all playing 4th grade and not Masters at that time and wishes them all well in 2018.
Met his ex wife in 2006, married in 2007 and his greatest achievement , Haylee Davenport was born in 2009.
During 2009 he was tempted down to the Maroondah Rugby Club to play touch and introduced himself as Markie Mark and ended up putting the boots on again playing Fullback and lasted 3 games when at the Melbourne University the cricket pitch won and he twisted his knee and blew out his ACL and meniscus. Another hospital visit he had a full knee reconstruction 2 weeks before the birth of his daughter! After Ray found out about Marks flying over a Balcony he was then known as “Jumper” , as Markie Mark wasn’t cool enough for the team ,not a nickname he loves but its stuck now!
Mark has continued to play for Maroondah Rugby club ever since and can thank a lot of the guys, especially Ray Dougherty and Andrew Lang when hard times personally hit him hard in 2013.
Is very grateful that Rugby Union is still a big part of his life and has met some fantastic people who have helped him with his journey in life so far!
Definitely believes you need to Live life to the fullest, and focus on the positive.