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Todd Lowrie's NRL journey has landed in Brisbane but Newcastle will always be home. Copyright: Col Whelan/NRL Photos
Let me introduce you to a rugged, hard-nosed and old-school back rower who goes about his work on the football field with a minimum of fuss, preparing to do the dirty work that others shy away from.

Chances are you've heard the name Todd Lowrie mentioned over the years, but unless this modern-day rugby league nomad has played for your club, you may not have taken too much notice.

Lowrie has played for five different NRL clubs – Newcastle, Parramatta, Melbourne, Warriors and now finds himself playing for the Broncos.

He played in the Eels' 2009 Grand Final defeat at the hands of the Storm, but three seasons later he finally collected a premiership medal while playing for Melbourne as they accounted for the Bulldogs 14-4 in the 2012 decider.

Staying out of the limelight suits Lowrie just fine, although in recent years he has counteracted his no-nonsense style by wearing some colourful and flashy headgear on the field.

"I like to mix [the colours] up a bit," Lowrie revealed to [Ex- Storm teammate] Matty Geyer is [a director] with Impact Headgear and he looks after me, so I pretty much wear whatever he sends me – although he might stich me up a bit at times. He tries to blend them in with the jersey.

"I only started wearing [headgear] about two years ago so I got through a fair bit of my career without one, but now I whack it on to protect my 'melon'."

On Friday night the 30-year-old returns to the club where it all began way back in 2003 as he prepares for battle against the Knights with his new Bronco teammates by his side.

Home is where the heart is for the 190-game veteran, with the Steel City still harbouring great memories for the Scone Thoroughbreds' junior. 

"It's a while ago now, but I've got really good memories from Newcastle. It's still a special place for me there and it's still a place I mostly call home," he said.

"I've got very good memories from those days and the club still means a lot to me.

"I actually haven’t been back there too many times throughout my career, but it's always good to get back there and it still does mean a lot to me."

When Lowrie first strapped on the boots as a 19-year-old in Round 15, 2003, he was surrounded by Newcastle players such as Andrew Johns, Robbie O'Davis, Danny Buderus, Mark Hughes, Matthew Gidley and a much younger Kurt Gidley.

Although it didn't occur to him while he was with the Knights, on reflection Lowrie feels humbled to have played alongside the calibre of players who can now be classed as Newcastle legends.

"I probably didn't realise at the time because I was a young bloke coming through," he said.

"There were certainly a lot of good players there. Being young I didn't appreciate it for what it was at the time.

"Looking back now to play with some of the guys I played with there and to make some of the friendships I did [still] hold very good memories for me."

Growing up in rugby league heartland in the Hunter region and spending four seasons with the Knights has allowed the blonde-haired back rower to draw some credible comparisons between Brisbane and Newcastle, with both one-team towns enjoying unequivocal support from the local community.

"It's very similar. Brisbane's obviously quite a bit bigger, but I think the feeling around the team and in and around the club is quite the same," he said.

"Both clubs are fairly old-school in the way they go about things which is really good and I think the attitude to league in both towns is quite similar.

"Brisbane is a lot bigger than Newcastle and there is a bit more support [for the Broncos], but I think the towns and the support is pretty much on par which is really good."

So far in season 2014, Lowrie has been used sparingly off the bench for the Broncos by coach Anthony Griffin. With the exception of the Round 1 clash against the Bulldogs, where a brutal head clash with Frank Pritchard restricted his game time to just nine minutes, he has played an average of just 21 minutes. 

His longest stint was 28 minutes against the Cowboys while he also produced a 27-minute shift against the Dragons, scoring his first Broncos try. Despite a lack of game time, he still remains the ultimate team man with a selfless attitude, looking to contribute in any way he can.

"I'm quite happy to play my role in the team whatever that is – if I've got to play 80 [minutes] I'm quite comfortable playing that, but if I'm only playing 10 and that's what the coach sees best for the team – I'm quite happy to do that," Lowrie said.

"I'm here to help the team as much as I can and however that is is fine with me."
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National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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