Nathan inspires rise


UNLIKE most footballers his age, Tyron Haynes's hero does not play in the NRL.

Haynes, 18, says inspiration to succeed in life comes from his cousin ? "miracle'' bash survivor Nathan Grindlay.

This time last year, Grindlay was fighting for his life in a Brisbane hospital after he was bashed, allegedly by a group armed with fence palings and liquor bottles outside a hall in South Rockhampton.

Haynes, who was with Grindlay on the night of his attack, said the fighting spirit Grindlay showed to make a miraculous recovery since being beaten almost to death was "inspirational''.

"He has tremendous strength,'' Haynes said.

"The damage that was done, none of us thought he would (recover) ? it was a miracle.''

Haynes has taken his first steps towards a career in the NRL after entering camp with the Queensland under-19 team in Brisbane yesterday.

The Rockhampton Brothers player will start at lock for the Maroons against New South Wales in the curtain-raiser to next Wednesday night's State of Origin series opener at Suncorp Stadium.

At the time of selection, Haynes was the only player in the 17-man squad not contracted to an NRL club, but he has since attracted the attention of Manly, Penrith and the Cowboys.

The QR Comets Development Squad skipper yesterday denied reports he had already signed with the Sea Eagles and said he would make a decision on his future after "the biggest game of my career'' next week.

"I'm not looking at going anywhere yet,'' said Haynes, who suffered another bad run of luck when he was struck down with the flu earlier this week.

Haynes completed his remarkable rise yesterday when he rubbed shoulders with recent NRL debutants, Broncos whiz Berrick Barnes and Melbourne flyer Greg Inglis.

"It's hard to believe .?.?. you read about them and see them on the news playing in the NRL,'' Haynes said.

"This whole experience should be good.

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