Newcastle rugby:

Jack Arthur. Picture: Supplied

Jack Arthur. Picture: Supplied

NELSON Bay fullback Jack Arthur answered an SOS by New England and went to the Country Championships simply looking forward to playing a bit of footy.

Competing in the second-tier Richardson Shield, New England struggled, going down 43-5 to Western Plains and 55-21 to the Central Coast. 

The 21-year-old played off the bench in the first game and at inside centre in the second and did enough to earn selection in the NSW Country squad.

“I didn’t expect it all, I just went up their to play a bit of footy,” he said.

Arthur will joined by seven other Hunter players for a training camp in Singleton on Saturday ahead of the game against Sydney Subbies in Camden on June 4.

 “Jack has represented Country 20s before and did well in a team that struggled,” Country coach Matt Thomas said. “He can play anywhere from 12 out, is a strong defender and has pace.”

Arthur played only a handful of games last season after returning from an 18-month stint in England.

“I had some on-going issues with my knee and needed a break,” he said. “It was a lot slower and more physical overseas. I mainly worked on my defence.”

After starting the season on the wing, Arthur lined up at fullback in the 30-15 loss to Hamilton.

“There is a good feel at the club,” he said. “We had a good pre-season. With Chad (northcott) and Dan (Collins) coming back there is a lot of depth and competition for spots, especially in the backline. I will miss this week but going in to camp, I will take an open mind and learn as much as I can. Hopefully I can bring it back to club footy.”