'Old school' Wicks puts his team first and thrives on hard work

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 27:  Danny Wicks of the Eels looks on during the round four NRL match between the Parramatta Eels and the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Pirtek Stadium on March 27, 2015 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images) Danny WicksParramatta eels
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 27: Danny Wicks of the Eels looks on during the round four NRL match between the Parramatta Eels and the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Pirtek Stadium on March 27, 2015 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images) Danny WicksParramatta eels

TWO words have been synonymous since Danny Wicks made his return to the NRL.

"Danny is pretty much old school," Parramatta Eels coach Brad Arthur said.

"He is very tough, good leg speed for a front-rower but he is one of those blokes that you know the boys just want to play with"

So what exactly is old school?

It has its roots centred around hard work and honesty. The common denominator is team first, individual second.

So when Wicks scored his first try since round 10 in 2009, in the Eels' 38-16 loss to the Titans on the weekend, it wasn't a surprise celebrating was the furthest thing from his mind.

"It's a bit sour at the moment," Wicks said about getting a rare four pointer. "We were our own worst enemy. We shot ourselves in the foot too many times.

"We have potential, and when we want to play we can play, it's just hard to put a finger on it. But it's round six and there's still a long way to go."

The good news for Wicks is that he too has a long way to go in the blue and gold.

The 29-year-old was signed to the Eels on a one-year deal but the club has taken up an option that will see him stay until the end of the 2016 season.

Wicks, who served an 18-month prison sentence for drug trafficking, has been impressive since making his return to the NRL in round two.

"I'm very grateful for the Eels taking a chance on me and I'm loving working under Brad and being part of the club," he said. "I'm looking forward to giving my best for the blue and gold."

Arthur was equally happy to secure the services of the reformed Wicks.

"Danny's work ethic and commitment has been obvious during pre-season and in the opening rounds of the season on the field, and he brings a physical presence and a lot of toughness to our team," he said. "Having been out of the game for a number of years, I believe Danny's best football is still ahead of him and he's a big part of our future plans."

The Eels have been active in the player market.

Not only have they retained Wicks and fellow squad members John Folau, Brad Takairangi and Bureta Faraimo, they have also signed Manly playmaker Kieran Foran on a four year deal.

The news is expected to get better this week with NSW Origin and Test forward Beau Scott expected to sign a three-year deal with the club.

The injured Knights back-rower will miss the clash with his future club when the Eels take on Newcastle at Hunter Stadium on Sunday at 4pm.

The game will also mark the return of Wicks to face his former club Newcastle; a team he played with 40 times until he was arrested in 2009.

But as is usually the case, old school Wicks wasn't concerned about himself; only the importance of the game for his team who have won two and lost four from the opening six rounds.

"Every week you have to be on your game and if we turn up like we did against the Titans, the fans don't deserve it," Wicks said. "It wasn't our best performance by a long way so we have so much to improve on."

This story 'Old school' Wicks puts his team first and thrives on hard work first appeared on Parramatta Sun.

Comments

Discuss "'Old school' Wicks puts his team first and thrives on hard work"

Please note: All comments made or shown here are bound by the Online Discussion Terms & Conditions.