Ahead of the kick-off to the Intrust Super Premiership, Matt Pritchard spoke to new Dragons recruit Darren Nicholls about his move to the Red V and his aspirations to play in the NRL
Could this be the year the talented halfback Darren Nicholls makes his NRL debut?
28 year old’s recent efforts in captaining the Penrith Panther’s 2017 Intrust Super Premiership winning side have not gone unnoticed. Darren Nicholls signing is a boost for the Dragons and provides excellent back-up for regular halves pairing Gareth Widdop and Broncos recruit Ben Hunt.
The Dragons will be Nicholls fourth contract at a National Rugby League club having previously spent time in the Panthers, Brisbane Broncos and South Sydney Rabbitohs feeder system. Appearances at the 2015, 2016 and 2017 Auckland Nines tournament has raised his profile and caught the attention of his new club.
“It would be awesome, I’ve dreamt of playing NRL since I was a kid and I’ve been working hard to achieve it for a long time.”, he said.
A new club presents a new opportunity for Nicholls and he’s reveling in his new role.
“There is a good vibe around the club and everyone is pretty positive. I think we will be playing semi-finals football.”
“The transition has been great. The lads have been very welcoming. We have done lots of work in the preseason to get right physically and learning the new plays was seamless.”
St George-Illawarra Dragons will play their first Intrust Super Premiership game next Saturday against the strong Mounties team. It will be their first game since the Illawarra Cutters feeder club ended in late-October.
Nicholls clearly sees who the biggest threat to the Dragons winning the title will be, his former club at the foot of the mountains.
“They have a great team and Guy Missio who is taking over from Brenno is a great coach.”
ST GEORGE-ILLAWARRA DRAGONS VS MOUNTIES, WIN STADIUM, 1PM SATURDAY MARCH 10 (Live Channel 9)