Roosters rookie is no stunned mullet
His throwback hairstyle might have sent social media into meltdown, but there's a lot more to Roosters rookie Lindsay Collins than just his mullet.
The former Queensland under-20s State of Origin representative started his rugby league journey in the back-row but was quickly shuffled to the middle when he realised he couldn't keep up with the speedier edge forwards out wide.
Form was never an issue for the former Broncos NYC star; the only problem was staying on the field.
"I think I only played eight or nine games in my first year of 20s and then I broke my ankle so that set me back for the rest of the year," Collins told NRL.com.
"I got through the whole season in the second year, and then towards the end of the year I did my shoulder. They didn't think it was that bad until I came back in to the pre-season for 2016 and it was constantly popping out and subluxing.
"That's when I got scans and realised I needed a shoulder reconstruction so that put a bit of a dint in my last year of 20s. Fortunately I'd signed with the Roosters before that happened so I took the time to get my shoulder right and played a few games at the end of the year."
The 21-year-old made an immediate impact at his new club, with several impressive outings for the Wyong Roos in the Intrust Super Premiership earning him 18th man duties for a couple of games before he was thrust into the NRL side for their Round 12 trip to Canberra.
Collins found out the good news on the Tuesday before the 24-16 loss to Canberra and just wanted the training session to end so he could get in touch with his parents to let them know that their son had achieved his dream after several injury-ravaged seasons.
"With a few of the boys in the Origin side, I had a bit of a goal to make my debut around this time," he said.
"Robbo (Roosters coach Trent Robinson) just wanted to be clear with the team and get it out there. The boys made it really comfortable for me during the week and emphasised the point that I'm here for a reason and told me to just do my job.
"There are a lot of good forwards down here so there are a lot of blokes who have taken me under their wings and taught me plenty about what it takes to be a first-grader.
"Robbo told me before the training session so for the next hour all I wanted to do was call mum and dad and let them know the good news.
"They know how long the road has been for me so it got a bit emotional after the game when I saw them. The dream came true, but the next goal is to play consistent NRL."
It didn't take Collins long to find out just how taxing the NRL is, with the Roosters rookie physically spent moments after coming on.
"I think I got on with about eight minutes to go in the first half and I remember looking up at the clock after five minutes and I was already stuffed," he said.
"You come off the bench and you just want to do everything at 100 miles an hour, but you've got to be smart about it and try to ease yourself into the game. That will come with experience so hopefully I get a few more games to help develop my NRL engine."
While his on-field performances are what will be judged for the years to come, Collins opened up about his choice of hairstyle which he revealed was inspired by former NRL workhorse – and relative – Luke Williamson.
"There's not a lot to it; it's just a bit of fun. My grandad's going bald and I'm starting to thin out on top so I decided to grow it while I can. My mum's cousin played in the NRL and he had a mullet as well so I took a bit of inspiration from him," he said.
"When I was back in Brissy I used to have it but I told myself that I couldn't rock up on the first day of pre-season with a mullet. My mum used to be a hairdresser so she used to cut my mullet back at home. She didn't like it, but it's what I wanted so I got my way."
While the mullet isn't everyone's cup of tea, it's made an impression on teammate Jared Waerea-Hargreaves.
"I absolutely love the style. He's calling himself a trendsetter," the Roosters prop told NRL.com.
"He had it before he came down and he shaved his head because he didn't want to be this ratbag kid that came down with a mullet and missing teeth.
"He's a humble man and he's obviously got a good background. He's an absolute legend and it's great to have people like him at the club."
This article first appeared on NRL.COM