Nick af­ter flag 3 with Wat­tles

Warwick Daily News - - SPORT -

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

Photo: Kevin Farmer

REP PO­TEN­TIAL: Nick Van Der Poel (left)

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