According to Lewis Dwyer, he'd 'better off in a nursing home' than a rugby paddock. But, at 28-years-of-age, the big man has somehow jagged a spot in Viv Paasi's starting XV at inside centre.
After coming across to Pride Park at the end of 2020, Dwyer has fallen in love with not only the culture at Orange City, but the coaching style of Paasi, something he's been astounded by.
"Viv should be coaching Super Rugby... he's unbelievable," Dwyer said. "His structures are brilliant, but when you're undermanned like we were last weekend, it gets tough for the boys."
Thankfully for Paasi, the Lions will be close to full-strength for their round three Blowes Clothing Cup clash at Forbes.
Having played against the Magpies every winter in Group 11, Dwyer would know.
"It's the dark side over there... even when we won at the grand final at Parkes, it was still so hard to get a win over there," he said.
He played in the middle during his rugby league career, but has been rejuvenated by Paasi's suggestion to put him out a bit wider.
"I was a busted-ass front rower thinking about retiring," he said. "But this switch to the centre has revitalised my career."
Dwyer will celebrate his 29th birthday on Saturday and hopes he can be part of a winning effort at Grinsted Oval. Kick-off is 3.15pm.
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