Jy Hitchcox’s NRL dream “sort of died” before phonecall from Mick Potter

Josh McAllister

In the latest video series where players break down their rugby league careers so far, Jy Hitchcox revealed that he almost gave up on his NRL debut.

The 31-year-old discusses the timeline of his career, from his time with Gold Coast Titans, a switch to rugby union and the move to England.

At the age of 24, the current Toulouse winger said the dream of playing NRL had almost gone following stints with the Titans and Melbourne Storm, but a move to the Wests Tigers gave him his first-grade chance.

However, one phone call from Mick Potter gave him his chance.

“To be honest, the dream of playing NRL had sort of died by that stage, I was 24-years-old,” he said.

“For a lot of outside backs, a debut is somewhere between 18 and 23. Even at 22, if you’re not in or around that mix, not that you’ve got no chance, there’s just so many other 18, 19 or 17-year-olds coming through that they can make into an established first grader over that period of time and it would sort of benefit the clubs a lot more.

“That sort of just stopped, I was happy working and happy training part-time and playing in a reasonably good competition which is the New South Wales Cup and I was just content with that.

“Then one day I got a call from Mick Potter to say can you come in and train with us. I think James Tedesco was injured and I called my boss and he was filthy that I was missing work for the foreseeable future.

“I didn’t really think I was going to get a crack and then I had two training sessions and they said mate you’re going to make your debut this weekend.

“I was like, a 24-year-old, I’m no longer a young kid I’m thinking to myself while it is my childhood dream, I’m a bit of a man like, where it’s not like where you see those videos of those young 18-year-old kids getting their debut and they’re in tears in the coach’s office.

“It wasn’t really like that at all, it was just like thanks mate this is awesome and I gave my family a call and stuff.”

Hitchcox then made his NRL debut in round 23 of the 2014 NRL season for the Wests Tigers against the Sydney Roosters at Leichhardt Oval.

He continued: “We actually got pumped by the Roosters 48-4. It was only 8-0 at half-time, and then they just pumped us in the second half.

“I scored our only try so I was pretty happy with that, it was right in the corner where my family was and I got to see my grandma who is a massive part of my journey and why I’ve got to where I’ve got to today.

“That was pretty massive for me and ended up playing the next four NRL games after that, finished the season there basically which was good.”