LIKE Lote Tuqiri, Mat Rogers and Andrew Walker before him, Orange City centre Jake Davis has flourished in rugby union since defecting from league.
Davis made the cross-code jump at the beginning of 2013 after playing his entire football career for Bathurst Panthers, and more recently Orange Hawks in Group 10’s junior and senior competitions.
He took to the 15-man code like a duck to water as a part of the Lions’ 2013 undefeated premiership-winning colts team.
Now, in just his second season of rugby, Davis is starring in Orange City’s Blowes Clothing Cup first grade team.
“It’s certainly a very different game,” he laughed.
“I’ve really enjoyed it since I left league, there’s a great bunch of blokes at City.
“Last year in colts I found my way a bit, and I’ve learned heaps since I moved up to first grade this season.
“It’s a lot quicker and tougher.”
The 21-year-old will line up at inside centre in the Lions’ round 12 clash with Forbes at Pride Park on Saturday, but admitted he knows little about a resurgent Platypi side.
The clash pits third against fourth, and Davis knows he has his work cut out for him against a tough Forbes outfit.
“I’ve heard they’re playing pretty good rugby,” he said.
“If we just stay more disciplined and execute in attack we should be fine. Our defence is rock solid.
“With Manu [Halasima] outside, I think my role is just to defend well, and feed the guys outside me.”
Lions’ coach Mick Gray echoed Davis regarding his side’s discipline.
“Our boys lost the plot a bit discipline-wise against Dubbo [last week],” Gray said.
“We’ve had a chat though, I think the crowd got to them a bit in Dubbo, and we’ll rectify that against Forbes.
“They’re a good side, they grind it out and they’re tough. We need a win to stay in third basically.”
Halasima comes into the side at the expense of Jackson Coote, while star colt Mitch Green has forced his way into the Lions starting XV, taking the place of 2013 premiership-winning custodian Sam Dwyer.
Kick-off is scheduled for 3.15pm.
ORANGE CITY LIONS: 1 Scotty Smith, 2 Chris Senior, 3 Cal Townsend, 4 Mitch Pearce, 5 Chris Barrett, 6 Gus Brotherton, 7 Duncan Young, 8 Josh Maley (c), 9 Nick Quinn, 10 Mesui Lemoto, 11 Cameron Cole, 12 Jake Davis, 13 Manu Halasima, 14 Sam Powell, 15 Mitch Green.