As an up-and-coming half who has genuine hopes of a sky blue jersey, Brock Lamb is in the prime position to achieve his Origin dream.
The Knights’ search for an established half has been well-documented in the decade since the retirement of Andrew Johns, with many believing the club has found what they’ve been looking for with the signing of Mitchell Pearce. Set to be Pearce’s understudy in 2018, Lamb will hope his improvement can place him further in the frame for Origin selection.
“He’s a really experienced player and he’s got a lot of knowledge, so he helps not only me but the other halves at the club,” Lamb tells NSWRL.com.au at the 2018 Emerging Blues camp. “Obviously it’s a goal for any kid growing up in NSW, they want to play for their state so [being selected for the Emerging Blues] is massive for me.
“I’m just going to take it with both hands, train as hard as I can and hopefully in the near future I can be playing for the team.”
In addition to his new partnership with Pearce, Lamb will now have the benefit of learning from two club legends in the Emerging Blues program: Danny Buderus and Johns himself.
“I’ve done a little bit with Danny, not so much with Joey, but any time you’re with those blokes you’ve just got to open your ears and listen to what they’ve got to say,” Lamb says. “There’s a lot of quality coaches here so you pick up as much as you can off them and hopefully take it back to my club.”
“Just to be named with some of the other quality players here and obviously to be recognised by the coaching staff is a massive achievement by myself.”
While Lamb’s individual journey has received a boost with the selection, the club as a whole has become an ideal place for emerging talent to prosper. Teammates Sione Mata’utia, Daniel Saifiti and Connor Watson join him in the program this year, while fellow Knights Kalyn Ponga and Tauta Moga were selected for the squad’s Queensland counterpart.
“It’s good recognition for the club, we’ve got a few good players there now,” Lamb adds. “We actually had a couple of the boys selected in the Queensland one as well, so it’s good for the club knowing we’ve got quality players coming through.”
The Knights’ expected rise from wooden spooners to top-eight contenders will begin with a Round 1 matchup against the Manly Sea Eagles on Friday, 9 March at McDonald Jones Stadium.