TO most, Tyran Wishart is the son of Illawarra Steelers and St George Illawarra Dragon legend Rod - who played 177 first grade games during his career.
But this Saturday, the Gerringong product will get the opportunity to make a name for himself, after being named in the Dragons NRL squad to face Newcastle at Maitland.
"It definitely came as a surprise when Mary [Paul McGregor] told me during the week I'd be playing with the top squad," Wishart said.
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"I was lost for words and still have to pinch myself - this opportunity is what I've been working my whole career towards."
Making the 20-year-old's selection even more impressive is the fact he missed a large chunk on 2019 with a right shoulder injury.
Great to see the @NRL_Dragons - including @GerringongLions product Tyran Wishart - chatting with and motivating students of the Shoalhaven as part of their ‘League Stars Inspire’ blitz program. @NRL#GroupSeven#rugbyleague#Shoalhaven#SouthCoast#BomaderryPublicSchoolpic.twitter.com/YJapMjela4— Courtney Rhys Ward (@CortRhysWard) February 19, 2020
"The shoulder is feeling good right now - I've put a lot of work into getting it to the level it needs to be at to withstand the physicality of week to week footy," Wishart, who was in Bomaderry on Thursday as part of the Dragons 'League Stars Inspire' blitz program, said.
"Obviously last season was frustrating at times but with a full pre-season on it, I don't think it's ever been stronger."
The pre-season the Kiama High School alumnus alludes to is his first with the top grade, which started in November.
"My first pre-season with the top grade has been really tough but I've loved every minute of it," Wishart said.
"It's something I always wanted to do and to be able to train and learn of the senior blokes is a dream come true."
Some of those experienced players are fellow Gerringong juniors Tariq and Korbin Sims - as well as good mate Jackson Ford, who made his NRL debut in round 21 last year.
"It's great having a couple of other Gerringong guys in the squad," he said.
"Jacko [Ford] and I travel up together - he's been great helping me acclimatise to the training workload, among other things.
"Then the Sims boys are always there to offer advice, as they've got so much experience to share - it's a great way for me to continue as a player."
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It's not just the Dragons who have former Lions in the 2020 NRL squads, with Rueben Garrick (Manly-Warringah), Jack Murchie (Canberra) and Mitch Rein (Gold Coast) all being contracted this season.
"I don't know what it is about Gerringong producing footy players," he said.
"Being a small town, everyone is exposed to footy when they're young and are shown you have to work hard to get wherever you want to get in life - we all push each other to achieve our own goals.
"On top of that, Crow [Michael Cronin] has had a lot to do with setting a culture of success there, that's filtered through the whole club."
It's this dedication to his craft that has seen Wishart, who normally plays in the halves, selected as the bench hooker for the team's clash with Newcastle - with Joe Lovodua slated to start in the absence of Cameron McInnes (injured) and Isaac Luke (All-Stars).
"Mary [McGregor] and the coaches have spoken to me about my role - they just want me to play my natural game and get us into our systems as quickly as possible," he said.
"I know it's going to be a step up in speed but I'm looking forward to the challenge.
"I'm ready to make the most of this opportunity."
And if he does make the most of this opportunity, which his father Rod has encouraged him to do, who knows where the 2020 season might take the Group Seven junior.
"Obviously I'm going to make the most of this Saturday's match but my main focus is to get a solid year of footy under my belt," he said.
"I'd love to lock down a spot in reserve grade [Canterbury Cup] but I know that's not going to come easy.
"I'm ready to put in the hard work and see where that takes me."