Nick keen to impress with Dragons
NICK Emmett wanted to be a fireman when he was growing up.
Things change – now he’s hoping to set the National Rugby League competition on fire while playing for the St George Illawarra Dragons.
The former Hervey Bay Seagulls representative has started the year promisingly as well.
Emmett, 27, scored a try, his second in pre-season, during the 26-all draw in the annual Charity Shield showdown against the South Sydney Rabbitohs in Sydney.
Not surprisingly, Emmett, who played 17 games for the Brisbane Broncos before he signed with the Dragons last season, said he was pleased with getting his name on the scoresheet.
“Mate, I didn’t have to do a lot to get across the line but a try is a try and I’ll take it anytime,” Emmett, who started the game on the bench, laughed.
“I don’t mind how I score them.”
On a serious note, Emmett said he was looking forward to hopefully having a big year with last year’s minor premiers.
“I only played five games last season and while that doesn’t sound like much I thought that it wasn’t too bad considering just how sore my ankle was (he’d had reconstructive surgery on it during his last year with the Broncos),” Emmett, who scored one try for the Dragons last year, said.
“I had more surgery on it in October and hopefully that will be the end of my troubles.
“I know it (his ankle) won’t ever be the same again – I’ll have good days and I’ll have bad days but it feels great now.
“I’ve had the biggest pre-season and I am rearing to go.”
But it won’t be fitter Emmett his former Hervey Bay team-mates and rivals will get to see this year – he’s bigger.
“Wayne (coach Wayne Bennett) told me to bulk up a bit and I needed to – he wants me to play in the back row,” Emmett said.
“So I’ve put on 4kg and I feel good about it and the move into the back row.
“I was getting a bit slow in the centres.”
It’s his experience in the centres and on the wing that Emmett said he hoped would get him a regular first grade berth.
“It’s such a good team we’ve got that it’s so hard to get in the line-up,” Emmett, who signed a new one-year deal with the Dragons last season, said.
“I’m hoping I can be used as a utility and that would be good enough to get me a place on the bench for the round one clash with Parramatta,” he said.
And for any Dragons fans wondering what the go was with the jerseys their heroes used on Saturday night, Emmett said there was no need to panic if they didn’t like them.
“They were just a one off to raise money for the St George and Wollongong public hospitals.”