Greg has talent to burn
By MITCHELL DALE
THERE are two things that immediately stand out about Nambucca Heads halfback Greg Nichols on the footy field.
Number one, the kid has stacks of ability, but more on that later.
Number two, he sports what is possibly the best mullet hair-style seen in a rugby league match since Tim Brasher took a razor to his melon in the early 1990s.
"Yeah (laughs), it's good if you play well, but you stand out if you make a few mistakes," Nichols said of his hairdo.
"It started when I was in the school musical ? Back to the 80s ? I grew it for that.
"Then I promised the school that if I was made school captain, I would keep it.
Nichols was was named school captain at the end of last year and the mullet has stayed.
Now, back to his ability.
He has all the skills ? pass, kick, run, tackle... and a good football brain.
They were all on display at Macksville on Saturday as Nichols led Group 2 South to a convincing 52-36 victory over Group 2 North in the Under-18s representative trial.
If the Nambucca High student wasn't a certainty for the Group 2 side before Saturday, he was by fulltime.
However, Nichols says he has plenty of improvement from that performance.
"Well (long pause), I was a bit on and off today," he said.
"I thought I was lacking a bit of energy and didn't play as well as I should have."
Plenty of good judges have already picked up on the 17-year-old's ability, including talent scouts from Newcastle Knights.
Nichols is on a part-scholarship with the Knights, and hopes to play in their SG Ball side next year.
"They give me a bit of gear and I have had a few training runs with the SG Ball squad," Nichols says.
"It has definitely given me a lot of confidence."
Another huge source of confidence for Nichols has been the 7kg of bulk he has added to his frame over the off-season.
"I was a bit light last season," he says.
"My aim was to put on 5kg, so seven was even better.
"It is good to have a bit more weight going into the tackles.
"I was worried I might lose a bit of pace, but that hasn't happened."
While Nichols is hopeful of going past Group 2 selection honours this year, his main goal is to make Northern NSW schoolboys.
"I made North Coast (schools) last year, but I corked my thigh about 10 minutes into the match (against Hunter Valley)," he said.
"I was devastated to miss most of the match, but it has spurred me on for this year, it has given me a goal to work for."
Of the two aspects that stick out most about Nichols, one will inevitably go sooner or later.
But long after the mullet has gone, his talent with the footy will still have people talking.