Three-year rep exile over for Watmough - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Three-year rep exile over for Watmough

By Wayne Heming 06/11/2008 05:20:29 PM Comments (0)

It's never easy fighting back when you have a black mark next to your name but Manly forward Anthony Watmough has resurrected a representative career many feared was on the rocks.

The tough-as-teak backrower was Manly's leading metre man (144.7m) in the club's NRL premiership-winning season as he continued his redemption after being dumped from the NSW Origin side after just one game in 2005 because of a poor attitude.

Current Kangaroo coach Ricky Stuart was in charge of the Blues for that series and word is Watmough's representative passport was marked following a number of breaches.

But three years and an NRL premiership ring later, Watmough has a chance to set the record straight.

He's still the same light-hearted practical joker around his teammates, including rookie Manly winger David Williams who Watmough said was his "adult hero" on the eve of his Test debut against PNG at Dairy Farmers Stadium on Sunday.

Watmough likes to joke around, it's in his nature.

But his attitude is a different to 2005 because he realises he's been handed a second chance to be part of a great Australia side.

"I thought I was a lot closer than I was which was pretty disappointing," Watmough said of his representative exile.

"Ricky (Stuart) sat me down and had a chat me and told me I wasn't far off and to keep working hard and I'd get my shot."

"I think I've matured more as a person than a player. You still go out and have your fun but as you get older you take the more important things in your life seriously.

"I wasn't a footy nut, I just used to go out my mates and chill.

"But you can't always be the party guy. At some stage you have to knuckle down and think about your future."

Watmough, who'll come off the bench, said the underdog Kumuls would come after Australia early.

"They play the first 10 minutes of their games as hard as any Test match, they really rip in," said Watmough.

"You know you're going to pretty sore but we have to dig our heels in and weather the storm and hang in.

"They've got some massive player with awesome physiques. A lot of them are short and wide and they can stop you in your tracks.

"If you run into one of them straight on, you're a bit of an idiot."

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