Garrick excited to get back to 'Gong and show Dragons he can play

It will get a little personal for Manly's Reuben Garrick when he re-enters St George Illawarra territory on Saturday night for the round-six clash.

Garrick felt he gave good service to the Dragons over the past two season (2017-18) in Canterbury Cup with 27 appearances and 13 tries.

But that seemed to count for nothing as he was overlooked for a spot in the 30-strong NRL squad for 2019.

So he packed up the car and headed north, initially on a verbal agreement of a three-year deal. But with the change in head coaches at Manly in the off-season, Garrick was offered just a one-year contract.

He is hoping the club sees his value. He can play centre or wing. On the right edge for Manly he has played all five NRL games, scored two tries and made 16 tackle-breaks, a couple of try assists and line breaks.

The 21-year-old is also hoping Dragons officials will see on Saturday what could have been.

"I guess I've got a point to prove," Garrick told NRL.com. "I'm keen to get back there – it's my local ground so I should have a lot of friends and family turning up."

Reuben Garrick takes on Manly for the Dragons in 2017.
Reuben Garrick takes on Manly for the Dragons in 2017. ©Gregg Porteous/NRL Photos

He's happy he is living proof that NRL dreams can happen.

"A hundred per cent. I feel like I'm playing with confidence. I'm really excited to get down there and show the Dragons what I'm up to.

"It's definitely extra motivation for me this weekend.

"I won't get too enthralled with it either. I've put my head down and been working hard at training to make sure I play my role."

The key to settling into the Sea Eagles' right flank so easily is due to his teammates, he says.

"I'm playing on the edge with Daly Cherry-Evans who is an outstanding guy as well as footballer. He's kept me grounded and makes my job so much easier playing outside a half like that.

"I've also got Curtis Sironen on the edge and Moses [Suli] in the centres. So we have a strong edge. I'm very confident in them and I hope they're confident in me."

That's a given the way Garrick turned around and from a dead start, ran down Kalyn Ponga over 70 metres in the 26-18 win over Newcastle last week.

"I did a bit of track and athletics in school. I was a bit of an all-rounder. I did it because I preferred it to schoolwork," Garrick said.

"Speed, I guess, has always been one of my assets. I did some great sessions with Clayton [Kearney] our speed coach here in the pre-season and I've found him outstanding.

"He's been very good for me. I've enjoyed his speed weights program in the gym as well as the stuff we do outside. I feel fit, strong and healthy."

Any words of encouragement from coach Des Hasler?

"Not really. I think that's a good thing isn't it? Either way I'm really loving my time with him here though."