SEASON OPENER: Mitch Duff of Wattles playing against Highfields in last year's TRL Premiership preliminary final. His 2019 season will start for Toowoomba Clydesdales on February 16.
SEASON OPENER: Mitch Duff of Wattles playing against Highfields in last year's TRL Premiership preliminary final. His 2019 season will start for Toowoomba Clydesdales on February 16. Kevin Farmer

Tough prop set to debut for Clydesdales in game in Warwick

RUGBY LEAGUE: A year ago, Wattles prop Mitch Duff was planning to have a season off. Now he will be playing with the Toowoomba Clydesdales in a game before the February 16 Brisbane Broncos trial.

Duff, 22, is one of nine players from Wattles and Warwick in the Clydesdales squad of 44 for two games against Brisbane Wests at Father Ranger Oval as curtain raisers.

He is joined in the squad by Wattles teammates Ty Gardner, Dale Perkins, Jake Hargreaves, Mitch Koina and Matt Duggan.

Warwick fullback/second rower Craig Donn is in the squad along with hooker Ben Sullivan and prop Sam Broomhall.

Duff first played juniors for Wattles at under-11 level and won three premiership in the Warwick and District Junior Rugby League.

He played under-18 footy for Wattles and is in his third season in A grade.

Duff suffered a knee injury at the back end of the 2017 season and had surgery but planned to sit out the 2018 season.

"Reggies (reserve grade) conned me into playing and I had four or five games before I started playing A grade again,” he said.

Duff went on to play in the TRL grand final for Wattles and left the field with five minutes of the season decider to go and his team in front.

Valleys then scored in the dying minutes and converted to snatch the premiership trophy.

Duff made a Darling Downs primary school team while a student at Ryeford State School but this representative selection is his first in a decade.

He acknowledges he only got this chance because the Wattles reserve-grade team got him back on the field last season.

Duff has always been a prop and weighs in at 120kg.

He admits he needs to do more weights to build up muscle and his best playing weight would be around 114kg.

His family run a grain, cattle and lucerne farm at Victoria Hill and Duff has the chance to go for some runs for fitness on the farm.

He was almost a second-generation premiership player with Wattles last season as his father Mal was in a winning Wattles A-grade team in the 1970s.

Duff played in the Victoria Hill cricket team which won the Len Morris Memorial Trophy two weekends ago at Allora.

On February 16, Brisbane Broncos will play Souths Logan in a pre-season game at Father Ranger Oval at 6pm, after the Clydesdales/Wests games.



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