The Courier-Mail

Arthur to trial ‘next Klemmer’

- FATIMA KDOUH

YOUNG Parramatta prop David Hollis has painful memories of the first time he ran into his footy idol, David Klemmer.

It was 2019 when Hollis was a member of the NSW under-18s side that he came up against the Newcastle giant and Eels junior.

The experience left Hollis feeling sore and sorry.

“When I was in under-18s Origin camp, we did an opposed session against the Blues team … I remember running at him, it was like hitting a brick wall,” Hollis said.

At 196cm and 105kg — and still growing — Hollis, 19, is already drawing comparison­s with Klemmer.

Hollis grew up watching Klemmer and now wants to emulate his aggressive defence and fearless running style.

“I always loved Paul Gallen and seeing how hard he was,’’ Hollis said. “Then, once David Klemmer came on the scene, we are sort of a similar shape you could say and watching him play was like ‘I want to be like that’.”

The teenager’s journey to Sydney’s west started on a small cattle farm in Wauchope on the NSW mid-north coast.

The Eels scouted the then 16-year-old at a regional representa­tive trial match.

“I was playing footy for Wauchope High School and it was a trial for the North Coast team in Grafton,’’ Hollis said. “In a matter of months, I’m moving to Sydney. It happened pretty quick.”

While Hollis has got over the initial culture shock of moving to Australia’s largest city on his own, the Wauchope Blues junior still pines for the life he had in his home town.

“It’s a bit different coming from a beef cattle farm coming down here,’’ he said. “It was crazy, I came down and I had to catch a bus and a train to school and they said to me you have to get an ‘Opal card’ and I remember thinking ‘what’s that’?

“I’m more comfortabl­e but if I could live back in the country, I’d 100 per cent live there.”

Parramatta coach Brad Arthur is set to play Hollis, who is eligible for Jersey Flegg, in Saturday’s NRL trial against Penrith.

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