Central North Rugby: Nick Lyons enjoying move to Gunnedah

On the charge: Nick Lyons scoots down the sideline to set Matt Hannay up for the first of his double against Quirindi on Saturday.
On the charge: Nick Lyons scoots down the sideline to set Matt Hannay up for the first of his double against Quirindi on Saturday.

Nick Lyons’ move to Gunnedah has proven a mutually beneficial one.

The 22-year old is enjoying his rugby as much as ever, and as club captain Matt Roseby rightly predicted at the start of the season, he has been a big asset for them.

The former Tamworth Magpie has consistently been among their best, impressing with his willingness to get in there and do the hard stuff and also proving a weapon outwide as he showed in setting up hooker Matt Hannay for the first of his double against Quirindi.

Ranging outwide Lyons pushed off one defender and then charged down the sideline before popping the ball back inside to Hannay.

The move has seen him reunite with a few familiar faces with Isaac Scholes, Sanimo Navatu, Aisea Raitala and Nathaniel Tavaga all formerly playing with Magpies.

It was in fact Scholes that suggested he come over.

“He said there were job opportunities. I thought I’d give it a crack,” Lyons said.

Now into his third season of senior rugby, he is enjoying the change of scenery.

“It’s a good little Country community and good Country rugby club,” he said.

“A lot of the fellas have got a lot of the same interests.”

He has also been reinvented as a backrower.

From his early days of rugby in the under-15s and through his time with the Magpies he played predominantly in the second row.

“They (Gunnedah) already had some pretty good second rowers,” Lyons said.

“When Jason (Waerea) suggested I play backrow I thought I’d give it a go.”

Playing blindside breakaway has given him a bit more of a licence to run wider.

“I’m really enjoying back row. I don’t want to go back to the second row,” he said.

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The Red Devils head into round six third with three wins, a draw and a loss.

“I feel like we’re travelling well. But Moree and Walcha will be another big test, like Pirates,” Lyons said.

They face the Bulls and Rams over the next two weeks starting with a rampaging Bulls side, fresh from knocking over the Rams, in Moree on Saturday.