Dubbo Rhinos second rower Nick Hubbard could rightly be nicknamed “stork”.
At six feet six inches tall he is a towering man and, more to the point, his father owns Dubbo Mushrooms, where he now works.
But unlike the yield of his harvest, the 105kg giant won’t be fed any “crap”, as his opposition learned last weekend and CSU will see in round two of the Blowes Menswear Cup at Apex Oval tomorrow.
Hubbard scrummed down in his first grade debut for the Rhinos against Cowra last Saturday and was a standout in driving rain at Recreation Oval despite his team falling to a 10-3 loss.
In his first match in the central west competition, and on his 19th birthday, Hubbard proved damaging with the ball with aggressive running and in defence the sheer size of his frame seemed to frighten his more experienced opponents.
First grade coach Andrew Williams was more than impressed by the debut of his Rhino rookie, who has again been named in first grade this weekend, and holds great hope for Hubbard’s rugby playing future.
“Potentially, Nick is a superstar. He is only young and is still learning the game but if he continues to develop he could be anything,” Williams said.
“He has the right physique and the athleticism to needed and is the sort of player that, once he has developed, Super 12 teams look for.
“He played really well against Cowra on the weekend, he hit the ball up well especially in the second half. He proved that even though he is young, he is very tough.
“But his game hasn’t fully developed so we will nurture him at the club and I think he will only keep getting better.”
Hubbard returned to Dubbo this year after completing Year 12 at Scots College in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs, a basketball scholarship luring him to the Bellevue Hill school in 1998.
While concentrating on basketball while boarding, Hubbard still found time to play rugby for Scots in the prestigious Greater Private Schools competition but after coming home to work with the family business now has his sights set firmly on success in the 15-a-side competition.
“I was at school on a basketball scholarship so that was my main sport, but now I’m back in Dubbo rugby has become much more important,” Hubbard said.
“I’ve gotten right into weights, I’m doing them four times each week, and do a lot of fitness work on my own. I’m fitter now than I ever have been and feel stronger too.”
That is outstanding news for the Rhinos and their 2001 Blowes Menswear Cup quest, but something opposition teams mightn’t be as happy to hear.
This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.Read more