Nick after flag 3 with Wattles
RUGBY LEAGUE: Wattles centre Nick Van Der Poel is going for his third rugby league premiership in two seasons in the TRL grand final against Valleys at Glenholme Park on Sunday.
Van Der Poel played all his junior football for Wattles but headed north for a season with Townsville Brothers last season.
He played in the under-20 Brothers team that won a grand final and came off the bench at centre or wing for the A-grade team which also won the premiership.
At the end of last season, he was invited to be in the Townsville Blackhawks under-20 squad but headed home and returned to Wattles.
He debuted for Wattles in Agrade in 2016 and has been a regular in the centres this season.
“I combine a fair bit with winger Andrew Richardson and have set up some tries for him,” Van Der Poel said.
Van Der Poel loves defending and plans to even be more aggressive in the grand final.
This season, Van Der Poel said he had learnt a lot from coach and former NRL player Travis Burns.
“You just watch how players like Travis go about their football,” he said.
“Travis will be a key player, especially as we will be without half Matt Duggan.”
Duggan is suspended so the playmarker role is with Burns.
Van Der Poel is playing centre this season but has experience in the second row, especially in school footy when he won the best player award for Assumption/St Joseph’s in the Confraternity Bowl in 2016.
“I like playing second row but also enjoy centre,” he said.
● See two-page Wattles team photo tomorrow
REP POTENTIAL: Nick Van Der Poel (left)