Nathan Blacklock

Nathan Blacklock
Nathan Blacklock
Personal information
Full name Nathan Dylan-Drake Blacklock
Born 4 April 1976 (1976-04-04) (age 35)
Tingha, Australia
Playing information
Height 182 cm (6 ft 0 in)
Weight 83 kg (13 st 1 lb)
Rugby league
Position Wing
Club
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1995 Sydney Roosters 5 1 0 0 4
1997–98 St. George Dragons 23 20 0 0 80
1999–04 St. George Illawarra 114 100 14 0 428
2005–06 Hull 47 33 0 0 132
Total 189 154 14 0 644
Representative
Years Team Pld T G FG P
2001–04 Country NSW 2 1 0 0 4
2001 Australia 2 2 2 0 12
Rugby union
Position Wing
Club
Years Team Pld T G FG P
2003 New South Wales 5 2 0 0 10
2009 Tuggeranong Vikings 2 0 0 0 0
Total 7 2 0 0 10
Source: RLP, NSW Player List, Yesterday's Hero

Nathan Blacklock (born 4 April 1976 in Tingha, New South Wales) is an Australian former rugby league and rugby union player who primarily played as a winger.

Contents

Biography

Playing career

Blacklock began his career at the Sydney Roosters in 1995, before moving to the St George Dragons where he played between 1997 and 1998. From 1999 to 2002 he played for the newly formed joint venture St George Illawarra Dragons. At the end of the 2001 NRL season, he went on the 2001 Kangaroo tour.

During the 2002 season Blacklock was granted a release from his contract with the Dragons in order to play Rugby Union. Some speculate that this move was motivated by the disappointment Blacklock felt after not being selected for State of Origin, despite being the leading try scorer three years running.[citation needed]

After a short stint in rugby union with the New South Wales Waratahs, Blacklock returned to the Dragons during the latter half of the 2003 NRL season, where he again proved his worth by scoring 14 tries in 12 games. 2004 was an average year for Blacklock, where injuries kept him off the field for long periods of time. Blacklock returned to help the Dragons at the end of the year, which included scoring crucial tries in the Dragons' round 25 come from behind win against Manly, as well as their narrow loss to the Panthers during the first week of the finals.

At the end of 2004, Nathan Blacklock left the NRL in order to play for English Super League team Hull. He retired in 2006.

Blacklock's nickname Tingha is a reference to the town in which he was born.

Rugby league achievements

Blacklock was the top try scorer in the Australian National Rugby League competition for three consecutive seasons whilst playing for the St George Illawarra Dragons between 1999 and 2001. It was the first time since the 20's in Australian rugby league that a player had topped the try scoring list for three consecutive seasons. Blacklock was the first ever player to score 20 or more tries in 4 consecutive seasons. In 1998, playing for the St George Dragons, he scored 20 tries from 22 games, the second highest in the competition that year. In 1999 Blacklock scored 24 tries from 24 matches, the highest that year. In 2000 he scored 25 tries from 26 matches. In 2001 Blacklock scored an incredible 27 tries from 28 matches, thereby completing his treble as top try scorer.

Blacklock was first selected for the Australian team in 2001, scoring two tries in Australia's 54-12 win over Papua New Guinea. He played one further Test, the Third Test against Great Britain at Wigan in 2001. Blacklock was controversially omitted from the NSW Blues 2001 State of Origin team despite being the stand out winger of the competition. State selectors claimed that Blacklock's omission was necessary due to his small size and possible deficiencies in defense, because he would have to mark up against larger wingers such as Wendell Sailor or Lote Tuqiri. Ironically the NSW Blues lost the series 2-1 and were humiliated in game 3 at AAMI Stadium by 40-14, where QLD wingers Lote Tuqiri and Wendell Sailor, as well as QLD centre Chris Walker ran riot over the selected NSW wingers Adam MacDougall and Jamie Ainscough, Ainscough who was coincidentally Blacklock's Dragons wing partner.

In his first season with Hull he scored 22 tries in all competitions, including a hat-trick away to the Huddersfield Giants and at home to Leigh Centurions.

From 1997 to 2004, Nathan Blacklock played 137 first grade games for the Dragons, scoring 120 tries and 14 goals for a total of 508 points, giving Blacklock one of the best try scoring strike rates of any Rugby League player. In his entire playing career from 1995 to 2004, Blacklock played 142 career first grade games. During that time he scored 121 tries and kicked 14 goals for a total of 512 points.

Retirement

In August 2006, it was announced that Blacklock would have to retire from all forms of rugby league due to a chronic knee injury. Blacklock had been planning to retire from the game at the end of the season but when the extent of his injury was discovered, the club decided to release Blacklock from his contract as he was no longer able to play. After his retirement was announced, Blacklock came out and stated, "I'm disappointed I've had to call it a day, but I simply can't give the 100% I want to anymore because of injuries. I can't put my heart and soul into playing. Everyone at the club has been great to me and I wish the team all the best for the play-offs and the future." [1]

At the time of the news, Hull were sitting second on the Super League table and were a real chance to reach the Grand Final at Old Trafford for the first time in the Super League era. Hull coach Peter Sharp added that "`Tingha' has enjoyed a marvellous career, he has achieved some things in rugby league that most people can only dream about. He has contributed an awful lot to this club over the last two years and we wish him all the best in the future." Nathan Blacklock will, however, be most fondly remembered playing in the red and white of the St George club, of which Blacklock has himself stated will always be a part of him.

Notes and references

  1. ^ Skysports.com article: Injury Forces Blacklock To Quit. URL retrieved 24th August 2006.

Nathan now plays for the Muswellbrook Rams in the group 21 league

External links


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