Outstanding form for the Newtown Jets has earned a former Australian Rugby 7’s representative an NRL debut, with Lachie Miller to become Shark #551 when he runs out against the Titans tomorrow afternoon.
In the absence of Will Kennedy and after coach Craig Fitzgibbon chose to move Nicho Hynes back into the halves for the round 11 match against the Gold Coast, Miller received the call up earlier in the week and gets his chance at the NRL level.
“I was pretty nervous when Fitzy game me the call. I couldn’t stop smiling but managed to settle down, rang my family, friends and my partner,” Miller said.
From Coffs Harbour, Miller’s journey included a junior league career for the Coffs Comets then Sawtell Panthers, before his talents were recognised by rugby union, where he would travel the world competing on the international 7’s circuit before being a part of the Australian team to contest the Tokyo Olympics.
Looking for an opportunity back in rugby league, Miller was recruited by the Sharks ahead of the 2022 season, where he has since enjoyed a successful transition.
Playing for the Jets so far this year, the Sharks partner club in the NSWRL competition, Miller numbers are hard to ignore, playing both fullback and five eighth he ranks first for tackle breaks (49), second for line break assists (8) and fifth for average kick returns (264-metres).
“They’ve been important to my growth through the pre-season and first few rounds this season, helped me a lot to find my feet,” Miller said of his experiences with the Jets.
A regular in the second-string Sharks team at training, Miller this week enjoyed the move into the NRL 13 in preparation for Sunday’s first outing at the top level.
“It’s been exciting being in the top squad for training.
All the boys have been really good around me. It’s been quite overwhelming, but exciting.” Miller said.
“It’s just like a family here. Everyone has been so good, everyone has really tried to help wherever I’ve needed help and it’s just what the Sharks culture is all about.”
With family and friends just a three hour or so drive north to be a part of his debut on Sunday, Miller looks forward to a large contingent of friendly faces offering their support at Cbus Stadium come Sunday afternoon.
“It’s been a lifelong dream. A lot of friends and family will come up and it will be memorable,” he said.
The Sharks v Titans clash is scheduled for a 4.05pm kick-off at Cbus Super Stadium on Sunday.