Star of league and stage



WHAT does a rugby league player do when he can't play, well, footy with the boys?

Gets drafted into the school musical, of course.

After breaking his right hand twice already this season, TCC's Brendan Waller is proving just as big a hit on stage.

The talented 17-year-old lock will play the role of tough guy Hughie Jackson in TCC's musical Back To The 80s, which premieres in June.

"One of my mates from school put my name down and I couldn't get out of it,'' Waller joked of his new claim to fame.

"Hughie is part of the tough footy guy group. He's a bit doughie and some people say I fit the part well.''

Waller, who has been on a Cowboys scholarship since he was 14, is planning to make his return from injury in next week's Rockhampton Junior Rugby League semi-finals.

In the first game of 2006, Waller broke his hand against Norths and missed the next six weeks of action.

But in just his first club game back for the Brethren he broke the same hand ? the result of a punch gone wrong during a scuffle against Yeppoon.

Since then, Waller has been training the house down with Rockhampton fitness machine Larry McDonald as he prepares for a bumper schedule, which starts with representing Capricornia at the Queensland Open Secondary Schools Championships in Wynnum on May 11-14.

"I've trained with Billy Johnston at the Cowboys and Lazz is definitely just as tough but it's something you have to get used to with NRL these days.''

Waller's goals for the rest of the season are to make the Australian Open Schoolboys team, finish the season injury-free and cement his future at the Cowboys.

"A bit of footy time would be sensational as well,'' said Waller, who also hopes to hit a winning note with the TCC first XIII team at the Confraternity Shield in Brisbane in June.



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