Bryant a beast no mat­ter what the sport

Sunday Territorian - - SPORT - BEN HORNE

CRICKET’S new­est six-hit­ting su­per­star Max Bryant might be able to smash a Kook­ab­bura fur­ther than Chris Lynn but he could also kick a rugby league ball out of the Gabba.

Bryant is set to be un­veiled by the Bris­bane Heat this sum­mer as the youngest of the “Bash Broth­ers”, but af­ter mak­ing Vi­rat Kohli’s In­di­ans chase leather at the SCG this week, the 19-year-old pow­er­house has re­vealed how close he was to sign­ing in the NRL.

Cricket’s ranks are full of emerg­ing tal­ents like Alex Carey and Will Suther­land who were on the verge of play­ing AFL, but Bryant is rugby league’s “what if” story.

Con­tracted by the Gold Coast Ti­tans the mo­ment he turned 15, Bryant was rated by the club to be ev­ery bit as good as cur­rent play­mak­ing prodigy AJ Brim­son at the same age.

Ti­tans ju­nior devel­op­ment boss Jamie McCor­mack once saw a 14-year-old Bryant blast a drop-out 80 me­tres on the fly on its way to can­ter­ing over the dead-ball line and can­non­ing into a side­board 110m away.

How­ever, the op­por­tu­ni­ties avail­able for a kid with such freak­ish hand-eye co­ordi- na­tion in cricket were so strong that in the end even the Ti­tans were telling him to re­place his studs with spikes.

“He’s got rugby league in his blood but we sat down with his fam­ily and we were all of the same opin­ion he should pur­sue cricket,” said McCor­mack, who likens Bryant’s nat­u­ral abil­ity to that of Queens­land star Ka­lyn Ponga, who is also a scratch golfer.

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