Manly Sea Eagles Premiership-winning skipper Jamie Lyon will dust off the boots and go around in 2019.
Lyon, who spent the 2005 and 2006 seasons at St Helens where he picked up the Super League title and the coveted Challenge Cup, as well as the Man of Steel accolade, has agreed to captain-coach the Ballina Seagulls in the Northern Rivers competition of the NSW Country RL.
The 36-year-old Kangaroo international told NBA News: “It’s obviously going to be a bit different but I played a lot of games in the NRL so got a bit of experience there.
“ll be coaching as well so it’s something that I’m really looking forward to and hopefully I can learn a lot along the way as well,” Lyon said.
He added: “There’ll be a lot of rust and I’ll need to get some match fitness there but hopefully my hamstring will be right and get through a few games.
“It’s always been a pretty strong comp I thought around the CRL, I think it’s one of the stronger areas and regions so I’m looking forward to getting involved with the local community and hopefully do my part.”
It is just the boost bush footy needs, and will hopefully encourage other former first-graders to promote the game in regional areas.
As you can imagine, Ballina President Al Perry is over the moon.
“It’s awesome; he’s just going to be fantastic,” Perry said.
“For Jamie to come on board being an ex-Australian and NSW player, captain of Manly when they won the premiership, he’s also played in England at St Helens so we just thought he would be sensational to have as part of our club.
“He’s really excited, with the year off that he had he’s really keen to get back involved and he’s looking forward to the coaching role.”