Newman back on the paddock for Seagulls

27/04/2020 Posted by admin

RETURN: Lakes halfback Nick Newman (left) has recovered from a broken and dislocated ankle suffered almost 12 months ago. Picture: Marina Neil Nick Newman made the decision to play footy again the moment after undergoing three surgeries.

The 21-year-old will wear the Lakes No.7 jersey in Saturday’s season opener, almost 12 months after breaking and dislocating his right ankle in a Newcastle under-23 representative match at Wauchope.

Finishing up was never an option.

“The day I got the surgery was when I decided,” Newman said.

“I always wanted to play again, so that motivated me to do all the rehab and all the right things to get back on the field.

“It was never in the back of mind to not play.”

But it could have quite easily gone the other way, with plenty of uncertainty surrounding his future at Port Macquarie Hospital following the May 13 incident.

Operations involved insertingmultiple metal plates and screws to assist the recovery.

“Because it was such a bad break they didn’t know howmy body would react and if I would get the full range of motion back in my ankle,” he said.

“I was pretty lucky and it’s been good so far.”

After hours of rehabilitation during the last year, guided in part byLakes officials, Newman said the “biggest thing was taking my time with it and not rushing it”.

He returned to training in the pre-season and then put the injury to the test playing two trials recently.

“The first one [trial] was a bit daunting, just getting tackled and being involved in tackles,” he said.

“But the second game it felt normal again, it all came back fairly naturally.

“Now the challenge is to do it week in and week out and look after it.”

The stakes go up another level this weekend with a trip across to Lyall Peacock Field where the Seagulls meet defending Newcastle Rugby League champions Macquarie.

“There’s no better challenge then playing the reigning premiers in round one,” he said.

Bateau Bay-based Newman has been partnered in the halves with new recruit Curtis Naughton. Fellow young pivot Jack Kelly (knee) looks set to be sidelined for a month.

Lakes welcome back from Newcastle Knights reserve-gradeChris Randall, who makes way for dropped NRL hooker Danny Levi, but are without centre Jacob Gagai (knee).

Macquarie are as per program, including an out-of-retirement Daniel Abraham. The 37-year-old seemingly brought his career to an end after steering the Scorpions to a grand-final win last season with a man-of-the-match performance. He has been named on the bench.

Elsewhere and reigning player of the year Ryan Walker will take over the captaincy at Wests in 2018 and shifts from five-eighth to fullback for Sunday’s fixture against Central. The Butcher Boys have at least five former Rosellas returning to play at Harker Oval. On Saturday the Pickers host Cessnock in their first competition game at the revamped Maitland Sportsground while South Newcastle visit Kurri Kurri.

PREDICTIONS:Season Preview for 2018

CHANGE:Hurrell named co-captain at Scorpions

Meanwhile, long-serving referee John Taylor looks set to officiate his last Newcastle first-grade game on Saturday. The Thornton man will be in charge of the Coalfields clash between the Pickers and Goannas at Maitland Sportsground.

ROUND 1 (April 21, 22)

Maitland v Cessnock at Maitland Sportsground on Saturday, 3pm

MAITLAND: Luke Dorn (c), Josh Griffiths, Geordie Connolly, Scott Williams, Isaac Upton, Hayden Grainger, Ryan Walsh, Dane Tilse, Adam Clydsdale, Lincoln Smith, Luke Mercer, Tyler Carter, Jayden Butterfield, Rob Mason, Brenton Horwood, Jarrod Smith, Shay Padberg, Elijah Resiga.

CESSNOCK: Harry O’Brien, Connor Kirkwood, Brendan Williams, Chanel Mata’utia, Joe Woodbury, Paul Carter, Riley Brown, Alex Mammone, Josh Dimmock, Kurt Warden, Marvin Filipo, Kori Barber, Blake Andrews, Brendan Hlad, Jake McNamara, Alan Lantry (c), Reed Hugo, Jordan Stratton.

Macquarie v Lakes at Lyall Peacock Field on Saturday, 3pm

MACQUARIE: Kyle Eather, Matt Hay, Nathan Cantor (c), Kyle Smith, Matt SImon, Scott Briggs, Andy Sumner, Tye Alchin, Kelly Benson, Simon Allen, Randall Briggs, Jordan Noble, Todd Hurrell (c), Brad Russell, Daniel Abraham, David Dryden, Isaac Briggs.

LAKES: Kyle Kennedy, Jamie Ghoulmieh, Cal Guest, Josh Charles, Matt Craig, Curtis Naughton, Nick Newman, Junior Rociqa, Case Burgess, Kodie Charles, Ben Talty, Nick Glohe, Shaun Boss, Sam Hibberd, Roman Fepuleai, Connor Whittaker, Chris Randall.

Kurri Kurri v South Newcastle at Kurri Sportsground on Saturday, 3pm

KURRI KURRI: Kade Hardy, Tyme Dow-Nikau, Zeb Dunstan, Brady Hammond, Shane Beale, Sam Wooden, Jade Porter, Michael Steele, Tom McKenzie, Brock Gilmour, Lachlan Macbeth, Reid Achin, Mitch Cullen, Jordy Mitchell, Mick Campton, Kahn-Jackson Juhnke, Ben Wyborn.

SOUTH NEWCASTLE: Lachlan Walmsley, Harry van Dartel, Henry Penn, Lewis Schneider (c), Jarrad Flanagan, Ryan Glanville, Jason Boney, Luke Higgins, Joe Morris, Brendon Simpson (c), Jake Lawrence, Ben Roose, Tori Freeman, Keiran Cubby, Eddy Tuilotolava, Nathan Campbell, Lewis Hamilton.

Western Suburbs v Central Newcastle at Harker Oval on Sunday, 3pm

WESTS: Ryan Walker (c), Willis Alatini, Brad Tighe, James Elias, Michael Hendry, Sam Kennan, Jordan Worboys, Tama Koopu, Chris Knight, Mark Taufua, Ben Stone, Matt Shipway, Matt Herman, FeliseTauffao, Luke Single, Beau Simpson, Josh Allison, Viko Puliiuvea.

CENTRAL: Callen Richardson, Cameron Anderson, Jake Maizen, Simon Williams, Jarrod Nott, Nathan Taylor, Brad Murray, Jake Davis, Terence Seu Seu, Dane Cordner, Mitch Williams, Shane Gray, Ethan Cook (c), Jermaine Ale, Dan Metcalf, Shaun Metcalf, Matt Baker.

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