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From riding rodeo horses to pushing for an NRL start

Riding horses and bucking bulls is something you wouldn't expect to see a nib Newcastle Knights player doing.

But for rookie Brodie Jones, if he hadn't been picked up by the Knights as a teen, he'd be performing at the rodeo like the rest of his family.

"Mum and Dad used to rodeo and my uncle was a bull rider," Jones said.

"That's my background. I should be doing that but I've latched onto footy."

The 20-year-old grew up on a farm outside Cessnock and spent most his time doing work for his dad and riding horses.

"I grew up on a bit of land out on Quorrobolong, just out at Cessnock there, a bit of farm area out there," Jones added.

"I grew up riding horses till I was about eight and I just hated it and didn't like, didn't find it fascinating at all, so I went and played a bit of soccer."

Jones moved away from the farming lifestyle when he found his love for rugby league at the age of 10.

The hardworking backrower credits his time on his farm for instilling toughness in him, a trait he takes pride in on the football field.

"I guess so, my dad is a bit of a hard-nut, he's just old fashion," Jones said.

"I guess they wanted me to be probably rodeoing and doing what they did but I didn't find it really interesting."

It's been a rapid rise for the Cessnock Goanna's junior who was promoted from Jersey Flegg to ISP NSW last year.

The transition was tough at first, but Jones soon started to excel in the ISP side.

"It was different, you need that more consistency week in, week out. It's not like juniors when you can have that one or two bad games," Jones said.

"It was a lot tougher playing against men."

Jones went on to play 17 games for the ISP side in 2018.

Following a string of quality performances, Jones was named on the Knights' extended bench in Round 23 against Penrith.

Although he didn't play in the game, being named as part of the squad was a pleasant surprise.

"I was pretty shocked," Jones explained.

"I hadn't had my best season last year.

"Nothing was really set as such, once I started playing a little better towards the end of the year, if you play good this is eventually where you'll head towards."

Having now trained with the NRL squad for the past two seasons, Jones hopes in 2019 he can finally make his debut for his childhood club.

"I want to crack the NRL this year," Jones said.

"I'd love to make my debut here. Hopefully I can keep working hard and keep training hard with the boys and hopefully it comes off for us."