Hard work pays off for prop

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Marist prop Reuben Northover on the charge during the Galbraith Shield final against Pirates-Old Boys at Rugby Park on Saturday. Photo: Debbie Fahey

IT was a week to remember for Reuben Northover.

It started with confirmation Northover had locked in a spot in the 2018 Southland Stags Mitre 10 Cup squad. It finished with his club team Marist celebrating another Galbraith Shield title.

For the 26-year-old prop it was a case of the hard work paying off.

With the propping stocks overflowing in Tasman, Northover made the move south from Nelson in 2015 to link with the Stags after he initially played for the Makos at Mitre 10 Cup level.

However, the former New Zealand under-20 representative had not been able to pick up a contract with the Stags.

Last week coach Dave Hewett provided him with the news he was after.

Northover was included as one of five props in the Stags squad, alongside Morgan Mitchell, Joe Walsh, Chris Apoua and his Marist front-row partner Shaun Stodart.

“It’s really good. I’m really excited for it,” Northover said.

“I’ve had other years with the Makos and Stags, but there is just something about this year. I’m really looking forward to it and am excited about it.

“It feels good, all those early mornings are paying off,” he said about his training schedule.

The Stags named a squad of 26 last Friday with the coaching staff leaving room to add up to six more signings.

Hewett said those spots could be filled by a couple of ready-made Mitre 10 Cup level players from elsewhere, as well as some younger players in a developmental-type role.

The Stags will open their Mitre 10 Cup campaign on August 19 against Hawke’s Bay in Invercargill, but first have three preseason fixtures.

The first is this Saturday against North Otago in Oamaru.

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