Peachey an old-school game-changer

Jack Wighton towers over him.

Greg Inglis has got him by 10 kilograms on the scales.

But when the NRL All Stars wheel out one of the biggest forward packs ever assembled for a game of rugby league, Tyrone Peachey won't for a second think about taking a backward step.

In the modern world where athletes are cut from similar sized blocks of granite, Peachey is breaking the mould.

He stands at 184cm and weighs in at 95kg – hardly what you'd call a scrawny weakling – but it is the varied skill set that made Peachey such an impactful presence for the Panthers in 2014.

In just his third appearance in an NRL run-on team Peachey scored two tries and tore the Eels to shreds in Round 12 last season and insists he won't be intimidated by the big blokes sent his way at Cbus Super Stadium on Friday night.

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Just ask Ryan James, who found himself bumped out of the big bed by his cheeky 23-year-old roommate.

"I was in there first so I got first choice. You can't be intimidated by the big boys, and I'm faster than them so they'll have to catch me," Peachey said.

"I know that [I'm not the biggest bloke], I try to bring something different. I'm not the biggest bloke on the field so I just try to do whatever I can do with what I've got.

"I've just got to play my game, I can't be worried about other back-rowers, I can just do what I'm good at.

"When I was little I used to play five-eighth and then I got too big and they pushed me in the forwards and ever since then I've been in the back row."

Although he'd probably give back one of his premierships with the Raiders for another big bopper up front, Indigenous All Stars coach Laurie Daley knows that in Peachey he has something few modern coaches get to work with.

"He's not a big guy but he gets around with his skill and his nous and his brain and we'll need that from him on Friday night," Daley told NRL.com. "He's not a big fella but he's a guy that certainly can play.

"It gives you variety. You've got to have a balanced side and he certainly gives us something a little bit different with the ball in the middle so that adds to our team.

"He played some really good football last year and he's very skilful. He got his opportunity to play a bit of first grade last year and grabbed it with both hands. This is another test for him and I'm sure he'll look forward to the game."

To represent the Indigenous All Stars is another accomplishment for a rugby league family that has already achieved so much.

Tyrone's uncle David of course had a decorated first-grade career with the Sharks and Rabbitohs while Tyrone's father Martin and his brothers Mick and Marshall are legendary figures within rugby league circles around Dubbo and Wellington.

Two years ago Tyrone lined up alongside his uncles for the team his grandfather formed, Dubbo Pacemakers, at the annual Aboriginal Knockout and says that it is an extremely entrenched part of their family.

"It's a massive footy family. Everyone played when I was growing up, my dad and all his brothers, so it had a massive impact on my life," he said.

"At the Knockout all the family get together, it's like a Christmas thing, you just have to go. I love to go back and give back to the community and watch all the family get together and play, it's good times.

"I wasn't really interested and didn't want to play footy but my dad forced me. He told Mum we were going to the shops and went and signed me up. She didn't know, she didn't want me to play but it's all worked out I suppose."

Annette and Martin will be in the crowd as proud parents on Friday night to see their boy share the stage with the likes of Greg Inglis, Johnathan Thurston and Justin Hodges, not to mention the multitude of talent lining up on the opposite side of the park.

For a family of Indigenous all stars it will be a special moment, a moment Tyrone himself is still struggling to come to terms with.

"On Monday, sitting across the table from GI, I was in awe," Peachey revealed. "I used to look up to him when I was younger, he was my favourite player, so to play with him and 'JT' and Hodges and that, it's going to be the best experience of my life.

"It is going to be the biggest game of my life so I can't wait."

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