If you were to ask someone what it means to play for the Tumut Blues, don’t be shocked if they simply tell you to watch Lewis Arragon play for 80 gruelling minutes.
The 21-year-old is by all definition a True Blue, with a hard-working, don’t let your mates down attitude accompanied by an unparalleled love for his club and team.
Although diminutive when compared to the likes of Zac Masters, Jed Pearce and Jacob Sturt, the hard-running lock makes up for his lack of size with effort, enthusiasm and determination.
Still, what makes the sparky so important to the Blues is his versatility and willingness to put his team first, which has seen him used in a variety of positions; even garnering the nickname, ‘Mr Fixit’.
“I just play where I’m told to play and try and do my best there for the team,” Arragon said. “It’s good wherever you play when you’re winning.”
Although his preference is to play lock, Arragon is content to work away on the edges and look for opportunities as they arise.
“Dean (Bristow) will come up a bit sheepish and say ‘I know I was going to get you back in the middle, but one more week out wide’, but I’m happy to do whatever is needed,” Arragon said.
The Tumut Minor League product said the playing group has a little extra motivation to win on Sunday too, with a tough year and the passing of a good friend adding some fire to their bellies.
“It’s everything to go back-to-back this year,” Arragon said.
“After a pretty terrible year with fires, Covid and losing our good mate Chub (Sebastian Webb), and to come out with a premiership would be really good.
“We’re always going to give our all, but it’s that extra little bit of motivation, as he was a great friend.”
Arragon also wants to give Dean Bristow a good send off, and thought the whole playing group would be working hard to win him another premiership.
“It would definitely be good to send Dean out that way, I think I’ve been playing with him since 2016 and he and Adam helped guide Tumut to a premiership and I think we owe him one,” Arragon said.
Although only 21, Arragon is nearing 100 games for the club and after playing through some dark years, he wanted to remind the next generation there is always light at the end of the tunnel.
“It’s good now, but it’s been tough,” Arragon said.
“It’s definitely a lot more enjoyable when you’re winning games and hopefully a few of these young fellas look up to us and know that times can get tough but you need to keep on playing and improving.”
It is this attitude off the field, along with his efforts on the field, that make Arragon one of the most popular players on game day.
“I think my following more comes from my mates up on the hill after they have had a few too many beers,” Arragon laughed.
“I’m a bit of an easy target for them, but it’s all good fun.”
Outgoing skipper Dean Bristow paid Arragon the ultimate compliment when asked what the young lock meant to the Blues and their chances of winning on Sunday.
“To be honest, he has been my favourite player to coach over the last three years,” Bristow said.
“He rolls his sleeves up, and for a little bloke, he gives nothing away and plays with his heart on his sleeve.”
Bristow said every team needed a ‘Mr Fixit’, who could fill in where needed during games.
“No matter what role you give him, he takes it on with a full head of steam,” Bristow said. “You need a person like that in your team.”