Origin gives Woods a taste of the big time
A small taste of life as a NSW player has made Aaron Woods more determined than ever to help Wests Tigers into the NRL finals.
The 21-year-old is rated as one of the best young props in the game, with veteran Tigers coach Tim Sheens predicting a long representative career for the Leichhardt junior.
Woods only just missed out on playing in the second State of Origin encounter, with Blues selectors opting for the more experienced Tim Grant to feature alongside James Tamou in the front row.
But to show the young Tiger, who is now in his second full season in the NRL, was still a part of the Blues’ future, coach Ricky Stuart named him as 18th man for the game.
And it was a moment Woods nominates as the highlight of his fledgling career.
“I came into camp on the Sunday before the game on the Wednesday, and I got a couple of sessions in with the boys,” Woods told AAP.
“Before the game I got to warm-up with the players and then I was sat on the sidelines and got to watch them.
“It was enormous and really makes you want to play, it’s the thing I really want to do before I finish my career is to play Origin football and in those big games.”
The Tigers ended a run of three successive defeats with a hard-fought win over Penrith on Saturday, but the pre-season premiership favourites currently sit in eighth spot on the ladder.
They face fifth-placed North Queensland next Monday and Woods admits the side have very little room for error going into the final seven rounds of the season.
“It was good to go back to winning ways on Saturday, after the little dip in form we had,” he said.
“But the thing is, even though we lost those three games we did not play that bad.
“We are confident we can turn it around and get back into the top four.”© AAP 2013