O'Donnell backs up for NRL debut
Sunday 8 July 2012 8:10 AM
Newcastle Knights back rower Kyle O’Donnell will make his NRL debut against the South Sydney Rabbitohs on Sunday afternoon at ANZ Stadium.
Playing in the NSW Cup team since joining the Knights from the Cronulla Sharks last season, O’Donnell says making his NRL debut is something he has been waiting a long time to do.
“I have been working for this for most of my life, my ultimate goal has always been to play first grade,” he explained.
“You never know 100 per cent if it is going to happen but I knew I had a fair chance this year.
“I have just been playing hard and doing my best in the NSW Cup and hoping I would get the chance to have a run.
“All my family is coming on Sunday to watch me, it is a very exciting time.”
O’Donnell is the younger brother of former NSW enforcer Luke, says it has been great having his brother there to offer him advice.
“We are pretty close and I always speak to him about my games, whether it be about my preparation or an issue I am having with an aspect of my game,” he said.
On top of making his debut, this week has been a huge week for the 22-year-old, having represented the NSW Cup Reps during their Origin curtain raiser against the QLD Reps on Wednesday night.
“I had goosebumps running onto Suncorp Stadium, I have never played in front of such a big crowd before and it was a pretty special moment,” O’Donnell added.
“The whole week was such a good experience, Kurt (Gidley) came into our camp to hand out jerseys and it was great hearing about his experiences and it really made it even more special.
“The team gelled really well together, by the end of the week we were all great mate and I am looking forward to playing against them in the future.”