English boost for the Blues

Englishmen and Tumut Blues rugby league recruits Toby Mallinson and Lachlan McGill.

TWO lads from England’s north, Toby Mallinson and Lachlan McGill have boosted the playing stocks of Group 9 champions the Tumut Blues for 2024.

Mallinson, 19, is from North Yorkshire and has previously played for the Castleford Tigers. This opportunity came through fellow Englishman Jordan Anderson, who had played for the same amateur club and was on the lookout for players.

He’s a five-eighth, and in England he played alongside the likes of Suaia Matagi and Cheyse Blair. This is the first time he’s been to Australia.

“It’s good; it’s hot,” he said.

He’s enjoying being part of the Blues set-up.

“It’s good; the players are easy to get along with and it’s nice to be training when it’s still light,” he said.

He’s not yet sure if he’ll play just the one season or more with Tumut.

“I’m not sure yet; I’ll see how I go,” he said.

McGill, 23, is from Leeds in Yorkshire, and played his amateur football at Stanningly and then to the academy at the Bradford Bulls. He then went to Hunslet, before returning to amateur football at Bramley.

“I was captain and we had a good few seasons, and got some finals, won a league, then an opportunity came up to come to Australia through Jordan Anderson, same as Toby, and I jumped at the bit,” he said.

He was talking to Anderson and Blues coach Zac Masters on the phone for about two weeks, before getting his visa, booking his flights and getting over here. He did some sightseeing in Sydney for a few days before coming to Tumut.

“I was happy to come over here and start a new opportunity in my life and in my rugby league career,” he said.  

McGill can play halfback and hooker, and he likes being in Tumut.

“I’m enjoying it; it’s a nice town with good weather,” he said.

“At home the houses are virtually on top of each other, and you don’t feel like you have any space. In a small town like I’m from the population is maybe 24,000, and Tumut is probably the same size but only has 6000; it’s a lot more spread out and it looks like a nicer area as well.”

He has a one-year visa to go with his one-year deal with the Blues.

“I’ll see how this season goes, and if I enjoy my rugby and my time in Australia I’ll be hoping to extend my stay.”

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