Newcastle Knights rookie Dylan Lucas has impressed coach Adam O’Brien with his performance in the second row. In their match against the Sharks, Lucas made a crucial try-saving tackle on Briton Nikora and also scored a try and ran for 168 metres. O’Brien believes that Lucas is just starting to show his potential and that there is more to come from the young player.
Lucas has seamlessly transitioned from being a winger to an 80-minute forward due to the team’s abundance of outside backs. Since making his debut in the NRL earlier this year, he has mostly played in the NSW Cup. However, with Lachie Fitzgibbon sidelined with a shoulder injury, Lucas was given the opportunity to fill the void and has been rewarded with a spot in the Round 27 clash against the Dragons.
O’Brien commended Lucas for his dedication and growth since joining the club. Initially on a train-and-trial deal, Lucas gradually progressed into the development squad and has now established himself as a key player. O’Brien compares Lucas to former player Luke Lewis, who successfully transitioned from the wing to the back row. The coach believes that Lucas has a bright future with the Knights and is pleased that he has re-signed with the club for the next couple of years.
Lucas expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to play in the NRL and acknowledged that it was the biggest game of his career so far. He emphasised the importance of stepping up for the team and executing his role effectively. Despite facing setbacks due to injuries in the past, Lucas remained determined to make his first-grade debut and has been working hard to maintain consistency. He views Fitzgibbon as a mentor and aims to learn as much as possible from him.
As Fitzgibbon’s departure from the Knights at the end of the season looms, Lucas is emerging as a strong contender to fill the void. He understands the competitive nature of professional sports and is ready to take on the challenge. Lucas believes that his hard work has paid off, but acknowledges that the team’s success makes his job easier. He is focused on contributing to the team’s achievements and performing his role effectively without any distractions.
Lucas’ journey in rugby league has been met with obstacles, but he has persevered and is now making a name for himself in the NRL. With his impressive performance against the Sharks, he has proven his value to the Knights and has cemented his place in the team. As he continues to develop and hone his skills, Lucas is set to play a crucial role in the club’s future success.