Even with a famous family member playing in the NRL, Floyd Tighe couldn’t be swayed.
Floyd’s cousin Brad played for the Knights, Panthers and Titans across an 11-year career that saw him clock up more than 170 first-grade appearances, before heading to Western Suburbs in the Newcastle competition for 2016.
“I always followed Manly,” Floyd tells www.NSWRL.com.au.
“My dad goes for them (Sea Eagles) too. When Manly played against his sides, I still supported my team but I hoped he (Brad) would go ok.
“He was a good player. He was hard working, not always the best player, but he was always putting in.”
Tighe’s parents, brother and sisters, nan and pop and a raft of other family are making the trek from West Newcastle to Suncorp to watch Floyd represent the NSW Indigenous Under-16s in their clash against the Queensland Under-16s Murri side as the curtain raiser to this Saturday night’s All Stars clash.
Tighe can’t wait.
“It’s really exciting – and a bit nerve wracking,” Tighe says.
“The most people I’ve played in front of before is only a couple of hundred – there’ll definitely be a fair few more at this match.
“I’m just hoping to go out there and work hard for the team. I’d love to make a name for myself.”
Tighe and his team-mates were yesterday given the opportunity of a lifetime, listening to NSW Blues Origin coach Laurie Daley speak about what it takes to make it in the world of Rugby League.
“It was great to hear from Laurie – he gave a great talk,” Tighe says.
“He told us about how important hard work is, and that’s it’s not just talent that gets you through.”
Tighe, though, seems to already know this.
“I’d love to make it to the NRL but if I don’t get there I’d still love to be in sport,” Tighe, a Year 11 student at Hunter Sports High, says.
“Maybe in sports nutrition, or as a physio – that’d be great.”
For the moment, though, there are bigger things to focus on.
“I’ve got a great opportunity on the weekend, playing in front of Rugby League’s best,” he says.
“I’ve just got to take it.”
The Indigenous All Stars meet the World All Stars in the Harvey Norman Rugby League All Stars clash at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday, 13 February. Some seats are still available – details at NRL.com/tickets.