By Nick Cherry
The Noosa Dolphins have recruited well during the off-season, with the club significantly bolstering their forward pack ahead of their first game on Saturday March 7th.
The biggest prospect among the recruits is towering second-rower Patrick Bamforth, who stands at 6ft 10 inches tall and tips the scales at 124kg.
The 21-year-old Englishman, better known by his nickname “Paddy”, said the biggest challenge in preparation for the forthcoming rugby season had been getting used to the heat on the Coast.
“The rugby is very fast here,” Bamforth said.
“I’ve played a few trial games and found them tough but that’s due to the heat.”
The 2018 season marks a new era for the Dolphins who will compete in an eight-team competition that will feature teams from both the Coast and Brisbane.
The Dolphins also secured the services of Argentinian forwards Ignacio Aguilera and Federico Grigera to help bulk up their forward pack.
The extra height and weight provided by the new signings will be extremely valuable for the Dolphins who will benefit from a heavier scrum and stronger line-out during the season.
But Bamforth isn’t just a massive body specialising in scrummaging and line-outs, he’s also a talented rower who formerly competed for Great Britain in rowing at the Olympic trials.
“I used to row at university in a high-performance squad aiming for the Olympics,” he said.
Bamforth, who was part of England’s Army Reserves before moving to Australia, said he had been “absolutely loving” living on the Sunshine Coast and being involved with his new club.
“I have really enjoyed my time with the Dolphins ,” he said.
“The coaches and players have been very welcoming and quick to joke about with me.”
The former Redingensians Rams player aims to travel Australia at season’s end, before eventually returning home to complete his final selection for the Army’s Officer Training Programme.
The powerhouse Dolphins will now look to defend their title for a third straight year after dominating the local rugby competition since 2016 .