He has been dubbed Central’s “Mr Fix It” and Jared Nott doesn’t seem to mind.
The fourth-year apprentice carpenter has played across the park for the Butcher Boys this season – centre, wing, fullback, five-eighth, hooker – and sometimes in the same game.
But the versatile 22-year-old reckons being thrown different roles by coach Craig Miller has only helped develop him as a player.
“I’ve always been an outside back and I started on the wing this year,” Nott said.
“But the game we beat Wests we had a lot of injuries so I shifted to fullback for six minutes and then finished the rest of the game at hooker.
“That’s kind of the way it’s been for the rest of the season and I just fill in wherever Barney [Miller] wants me to play.
“It can be a bit more satisfying coming off the field not just being a winger. Getting a bit more involved and being trusted to do any job.
“I always thought I had a bit more to offer so it’s been good to show this year that I can do it.”
Nott will more than likely line up at right centre when Central meet Macquarie at Townson Oval in Sunday’s preliminary final.
To be just 80 minutes away from a Newcastle Rugby League grand final appearance is hard for the club junior to believe.
Not only did the Butcher Boys battle it out for the wooden spoon last season but he spent most of it sidelined with injury.
Enjoying his second campaign in the Newcastle Knights system after being promoted from under 20s, Nott tore all three major ligaments in his left knee playing a trial for Central before getting on a NSW Cup field.
“It turned into a long pre-season so it makes this year much more satisfying,” he said.
Miller, who this week announced the signings of former NRL pair Jermaine Ale and Shane Gray for Central next season, said his squad would remain unchanged from Saturday’s 22-10 minor semi-final win over Lakes at St John Oval.
Macquarie coach Adam Bettridge has been forced to make at least one swap following Sunday’s 35-8 major semi-final loss to Western Suburbs at Harker Oval. Matt Geoffrey, younger brother of centre Royce, coming in for injured prop Adam Swadling (broken thumb).
On the other hand Bettridge welcomes back from injury first-choice fullback Mitch Manson, who replaces Matt Simon, and utility Nathan Hinton.
The two sides have played each other four occasions this year with the last three wins to Macquarie, including the 20-8 qualifying semi-final result a fortnight ago at Toronto.
The winner of this fixture will advance to next weekend’s grand final to play minor premiers Wests, who will train at their New Lambton headquarters on Saturday morning.
Kick-off is 3pm.
- Cessnock announced on Friday night that Al Lantry will captain-coach the Goannas next season.