After four long months knuckling down to the rigours of fulltime NRL training, the moment Lachlan Fitzgibbon has been working towards is almost here.
The 21-year-old has been named to play in the Newcastle Knights’ trial match at Wauchope and will run out alongside high caliber players including Kade Snowden and Joey Leilua.
“I can’t wait to play, it’s been a long four months,” Fitzgibbon told Knights TV on Thursday.
“You train every day coming into games for this reason.
“I can’t wait, especially to play with some of the more experienced players like Kade Snowden and BJ (Joey Leilua).”
At a towering 192 centimeters and weighing in at 103 kilograms, Fitzgibbon stands tall among the team’s pack and has savored the opportunity to develop his skills under the squad’s seniors in what is his first year of fulltime NRL training.
Running out in the number 12 jersey, Fitzgibbon will be joined by Pat Vaivai in lock with Marvin Filipo on the edge.
“I’ve never played with them before so hopefully the combo works.”
Fitzgibbon was a star performer in the 2014 NYC so has relished the chance to take his football a step further after graduating from the Under 20s competition.
“NYC is only part-time and this is a fulltime gig. The step up is in the professionalism and the difference between enthusiasm and expectation,” he said.
“The biggest thing has been learning off experienced players I think.”
“Each day you learn things off the older boys.
“The end goal is to obviously play NRL but for the moment, a short term goal is to try and secure a starting spot in NSW Cup.
“Hopefully I’ll string a few good games together there, get more form and see what happens.”
Fitzgibbon admits he’s never ventured to Wauchope, a regional town on the Mid North Coast, but looks forward to the match up against The Port Macquarie Sharks and Wauchope Blues nonetheless.
“It’s always good to go out in the country to promote rugby league,” he said.
“I imagine they will love it up there and we will get a good crowd to come along.”