Hard work pays off in rugby league and when a player busts his backside weekly, he is rewarded. That is exactly what has happened in Jarrod McInally’s case, with the 24-year-old winger signing a 2-year deal with NRL side, the Canterbury Bulldogs.
Formerly at the Ipswich Jets, the now Easts Tigers winger has excelled this season in terms of try-scoring and with news of the move around for a while, McInally admits it was hard to keep it a secret.
“It was easy,” McInally said.
“I don’t like talking myself up at the best of times.”
Breaking into the rugby league is not always immediate for every player and the Ipswich junior admits he was surprised when the Dogs approached him.
“It was pretty surprising,” he said of hearing the Dogs were seriously interested in signing him.
“But my manager was always confident he could get me something.
“I was pretty pumped.
“But I’ve just got to get through this season first.”
The key for McInally is to play with a competitive nature.
“I’m just doing the same thing,” McInally said.
“That’s how I play the game.”
A carpenter by trade, McInally knows that the new opportunity he has been given means it is time to put carpentry on the back-burner.
“I can’t wait to go out and focus primarily on my footy,” McInally said.
“Rather than have another major commitment as well.
“They’ll be training every day.
“Just being around such a professional culture should hopefully bring out the best in me.”
The young winger has his admirers, with former NRL player Scott Sattler believing McInally is a shoe-in for a future NRL starting gig.
â€œJarrod is the prototype NRL winger,â€ he said. â€œHeâ€™s tall, big and quick, heâ€™s a modern-day winger and I think he has a real future in the NRL.
â€œHeâ€™s good under the high ball, excellent at scoring tries off kicks and he takes the pressure off the forwards with his kick returns.â€
Being 24, he is considered a late bloomer but for McInally, that does not matter. He just wants to work hard, play hard and earn his spot in the side.
â€œBrenton Lawrence made his NRL debut for the Titans at 27 so this is my chance,â€ he said.
â€œIt will be a big jump for me but hopefully I can finish with a title at Easts and then give it a crack in the NRL.â€