Big George tackles leadership role
CENTRAL Comets gentle giant George Tuakura has tasted life in the NRL and now wants to help the region's up and coming stars rise to the game's top.
Tuakura, 31, is back in Rockhampton after two years chasing his NRL dream with the New Zealand Warriors.
While the big front-rower went close several times on making an appearance in the toughest rugby league competition in the world, Tuakura said it was still an "awesome" experience training alongside the likes of Ruben Wiki.
"I can't remember how many times I was 18th man," Tuakura joked yesterday.
"(But) I enjoyed it, trained really hard and learnt so much."
Tuakura, who last played with the Comets in 2004, has been named one of six players by coach Steve Anderson in the club's leadership group for next season, joining Tyron Haynes, Geoff Black, Guy Williams, Pat Dall and Jimmy McConachy.
"I'm looking forward to taking that on," said Tuakura, who is a huge fan of Anderson's methods.
"I've only been training under Steve for two to three weeks coming straight out of the NRL and he's just that professional where he wants to take the club (in the future).
"He could easily now go straight into coaching an NRL club ? he's knowledge is amazing."
Tuakura is also confident a new-look Comets outfit can become a finals force in next year's Queensland Wizard Cup.
"Ando's selected a squad really wisely and he's got a really good mix," Tuakura said.
Tuakura has returned to CQ with his wife, Peggy, and 19-month-old son, Malachi. The couple's second child is due in February.
"We'll be having a Rocky baby," Tuakura said with a big smile.