Snowden out to make his mark for Blues - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Snowden out to make his mark for Blues

By Steve Jancetic 02/07/2010 05:50:33 PM Comments (0)

Kade Snowden simply wanted a Country jumper this year, but the man who couldn't play more than ten minutes a couple of years ago now looms as the engine room block around which NSW hope to re-emerge as a State of Origin force.

An out-of-shape Snowden arrived at Cronulla from Newcastle in 2008 looking to make good on the potential all could see from the hulking 190cm prop, but his first impressions left a lot to be desired.

"Two years ago he couldn't get ten minutes out," Sharks and NSW teammate Paul Gallen recalled.

"He was always big and strong and always had the potential but probably didn't realise it.

"He's just a big man - we call him the mattress because he's like a big king size mattress."

He became a pet project for Gallen and Cronulla coach Ricky Stuart, who transformed him from an impact player off the bench to an NRL starting front-rower capable of playing 80 minutes.

From there things have simply fallen into place, with Gallen claiming the 23-year-old was destined to wear the sky blue of NSW.

And he could be a fixture for years to come as the Blues look for an answer to Queensland's impressive production line of props, with the likes of Matt Scott and David Shillington following hot on the heels of Petero Civoniceva and Steve Price.

"I knew he'd be here and was probably a bit surprised it took to game three for him to get it," Gallen said.

"I thought even the back end of last year if he'd been called into the Australian side it wouldn't have been a surprise to me either.

"I couldn't be happier for him, from where he was two years ago to where he is now, he's one of the best front rowers in the comp ... Sticky's (Stuart) been hard on him which has been good for him and he really deserves his chance because of how hard he trains."

Having graduated to the point where he was now a fixture in the Sharks starting side, Snowden set his sights on a Country Origin jumper in 2010.

But after achieving that goal earlier this year, Gallen and Stuart told him to raise his ambitions.

"They just said keep playing the way you've been playing, I think you're name's being thrown around by selectors," Snowden said.

"At the start of the year my goal was just to get into the Country side and I thought anything more than that I'd be over the moon about it."

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