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'Once in a lifetime experience': World Cup stint motivates Alick to achieve NRL dream

Jacob Alick may be returning for only his second season in the NRL, but the Kumuls star is full of learnings after a successful World Cup campaign.

Upon returning to Parkwood a week earlier than expected after proudly representing his grandmother's Papua New Guinean heritage in the UK, the 23-year-old feels he's taken so much away from his month and a half abroad, coming back determined to make in-roads in 2023.

'My number one goal is to play NRL': Alick

"It was a once in a lifetime experience for me; especially going over to PNG for the training camp. It was the first time I've been there and it was pretty cool to see al the people and the fans there and how crazy they are for the sport," Alick shared. 

"Coming back here, I think I've brought a bit of confidence back. Obviously, last year was my first year being here, so I was a little shy and didn't really talk much around the boys, but I've come back with a bit more confidence.

"I'm not too sure how close I am to playing first grade, but I'm just trying to be a bit more confident myself and my ability so I can be ready for when I get my chance."

Jacob Alick in action for Papua New Guinea. Photo: Getty Images
Jacob Alick in action for Papua New Guinea. Photo: Getty Images

Whilst being lucky enough to make his International debut before playing in the NRL, getting his opportunity on the big stage in the most elite rugby league competition in the world is still on top of the agenda for the hard-running edge forward.

"My number one goal is still to make my debut, so everything I'm doing is trying to go towards that," Alick said.

"I think defensively I've got a lot to work on, so I've just been working closely with Whitey (Brett White) and only just met him last week. He's been a massive help for me.

"I played lock overseas, so it was a bit different and allowed me to show my versatility to Justin and the coaches, not just pocketing myself to the back row. 

"I think I just want to keep working on little parts of my game and being confident about everything I do, but I'm keen to come back and try and show them (coaches) what I can do."

Alick in his first session back at Titans HQ. Photo: Gold Coast Titans
Alick in his first session back at Titans HQ. Photo: Gold Coast Titans

Alick also has plenty to offer his Titans teammates from his time abroad, especially soaking up as much as he could from NRL stalwarts Alex Johnston and Justin Olam whilst in the Kumuls camp.

"The biggest thing I learnt is probably the professionalism outside of games," he said.

"I think I've seen a lot more this pre-season [upon returning]. The boys are obviously upstairs, clipping videos, taking it to the coaches and talking to them.

"I saw that with the NRL boys in the PNG squad. Players like Alex Johnston showed me all the little things you have to do to get right for a game - it's not just about rocking up and and running out.

"I think I'll just continue bringing that professionalism, but I think that the boys have already started here, so I'll just keep trying to keep it going forward."

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Queensland 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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