HE'S spent more hours standing on the sideline at University Oval than anyone would care to count, so it was only fitting that Dave Conyers finished his tenure as CSU coach with a life membership.
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This season was Conyers' 20th and final year with the students and while he wasn't able to guide the first XV to a premiership, CSU ensured he went out with a bang.
On presentation night Conyers was one of three men presented with life membership.
It's the second life membership of Conyers' rugby career, having also had the honour bestowed on him by the Secret Squirrels-Harlequins.
"I've had some incredible moments, I was full-time coach there for 10 of those 20 years and the other years I was a part-time coach," he said.
"I've been in four premierships and we won a club championship in 2005 which is absolutely remarkable a university club can be club champions in the Blowes Cup because in those days you needed all four sides really doing well."
During his time at the club Conyers has seen some incredibly talented players, he mentioned the likes of Charles Croucher, Hugh Medway, Nik Granger and Mick Brownlee.
He's also guided teams packed with talent.
"That 2004 team, I think we had five of those players play Country under 20s, you don't get that assembly of players every weekend do you?," he said.
"That group got that premiership 25 years after the last one the club had, so that's a massive gap, and there was another 15-year gap to our 2019 one.
"The 2019 premiership was the highlight, you can't beat that, but in 2004 it was more than special to win first and second grade that year."
The two men who joined Conyers on the list of life members were Mark Campbell and Lee Nevins.
Conyers praised both of them and he was particularly impressed with Nevins, who has played more than 500 games for the students over the past decade.
"You don't get many guys playing 10 years for a university club," Conyers said.
"He always turns up for training, he's always there for the away trips, he's a very good clubman all-round.
"Another nice little touch was his wife [Corine] and son got supporter of the year, so they took a couple of trophies home."
Making the night extra special for Conyers was that his son Lachie was named the first XV's best back and in the president's XV on presentation night as well.
"He played in all the games this year, we had a horrendous injury count and he was the only back to play in every game. He had a really good year," the coach said.
"It was really nice to see him named in the president's XV, that recognises players right across the club who show commitment and the right attitude to the sport. He got named at fullback in that team."
Amongst the other first XV award winners were Lachie Buckton (best and fairest), Lachie Melville (players' player), Tom Small (best forward) and Phil Enright (coaches award).
As for what Conyers plans to do now he's stepped down from coaching, it comes as little surprise it's still rugby union related.
"I've got another little project happening next year, I want to do my Phd on the demise of rugby in regional New South Wales," he said.
"I've seen it sink quite significantly in the last 25-30 years, we've lost 20 clubs across the state. Even our region - and there's a lot of reasons for it - clubs like Cumnock and little regional towns, the Secret Squirrels here in Bathurst and Oberon, teams in the Blue Mountains, they're clubs that used to be there but they've disappeared now.
"I want to try and create more awareness, and I've got a lot of contacts in the sport to do my research and it's a bit easier that standing around Uni Oval on Tuesday night in the cold."
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