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Queenslander Ryan Jackson: ‘An old school front rower’

Queensland Under 19 front rower Ryan Jackson caught the eye of those in the know at The Dolphins with his “tough, uncompromising” style of play.

The young gun, part of Queensland Rugby League's Under 18 Emerging Origin squad last year, was this week named in the Queensland Under 19 side to take on New South Wales on July 13.

Jackson signed with the Dolphins after stellar performances for Wynnum Manly Seagulls in the Hastings Deering Colts and Auswide Bank Mal Meninga Cup competitions.

From Colts, Jackson trained with the Dolphins NRL side and caught the attention of coaches Wayne Bennett and Kristian Woolf, as well as Redcliffe Dolphins Hostplus Cup coach Ben Te’o.

Queensland Under 19 assistant coach Nathan Cross said impressively, at the age of 19, he'd played consistent Cup since.

"He's actually started a number of games... as an 19-year-old front rower in a pretty tough competition, that's a pretty good effort," Cross said.

"He's quite tall and he's a strong carrier of the footy. And because of his size, he's quite awkward to tackle.

"He's got good leg drives, post-contact metres... he's just one of those old school front rowers in a 19-year-old's body. He's really tough and uncompromising."

Jackson: Getting signed with the Dolphins is 'dreams to reality'

Jackson's dad Brendon Jackson said he was "absolutely ecstatic" for his son, who started his rugby league journey at Souths Graceville Lions.

"I'm so excited for him," Jackson said.

"He's always enjoyed the rough and tumble of football and the sport itself, with teammates.

"He's a gentle giant off the field... from my perspective, as a bias dad... he's polite, good and upstanding, but on the field he's a monster. He's a force to be reckoned with."

Jackson said he and wife Kylie went to every game their son played in, as they enjoyed every second of watching him grow. 

"I believe he has started his apprenticeship in the sport of football... it's something that he always wanted," Jackson said.

Ryan with parents Brendon and Kylie, and brother Joshua. Photo: Supplied
Ryan with parents Brendon and Kylie, and brother Joshua. Photo: Supplied

"He didn't really want to work, he wanted to play sport as a kid. And as he's got older, he's realised he can do that for a living.

"He's pretty focused on succeeding. We don't know what level but he's pretty focused on succeeding at football, whatever level he decides to play at."

Jackson said he looked forward to the Queensland Under 19 side ripping in against New South Wales at Kayo Stadium next week.

Jackson said he expected the team to do quite well because they were surrounded by some of the best including coach Matt Ballin and assistant coaches Matt Gillett, Antonio Kaufusi and Cross.

"I think his peers have a lot to do with his ability because he's around people who are better at football than he is and he's like a sponge... he absorbs all that and the rest is practice and time," Jackson said.

"When I go to watch, I like to sit on the sideline and cheer for him and the team... as a group, they're a very good team.

"Being in the Queensland Under 19s is just something really special...  to be selected for something like that is incredible. And, I don't think it's quite been absorbed by him, at what level of football he's at, at his age.

"He's slowly absorbing and recognising that he's succeeding. And it's fabulous to watch."


Acknowledgement of Country

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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