With a baby on the way and a newfound leadership role in the team, Roosters five-eighth Drew Hutchison is unfazed by the everchanging responsibilities in his life both on and off the field while he enjoys a career-best season to date.
Following a relocation to Queensland for a majority of the competition, Hutchison had an upbeat and positive outlook about the move to the Sunshine Coast for the Roosters – a majority of whom will not have their partners or families joining them, himself included – after revealed he will become a father for the first time later in the year.
“It’s been pretty good, to be honest,” he said.
“We’ve had about a week up here now and everyone’s gotten used to it. We’ve had a lot of fun and hopefully, that keeps going. I’ve really been enjoying it so far.
"I sort of found about it a couple of days before I did my ribs and lung so it’s really starting to sink in now and I’m looking forward to it.
“The sacrifice that we’ve made at the minute - being away from my partner - it’s pretty tough, but it’s for a purpose and it’s been a pretty good couple of weeks being able to share that with everyone.”
The hard-running five-eighth has since found himself in a leadership role in 2021, acting as the cool-headed talisman in the absence of Luke Keary, and emphasised the importance of building momentum and combinations - particularly alongside young halfback Sam Walker - following an emphatic win over the Cowboys last weekend.
“It was such a tough game,” Hutchison said.
“The way the team hung in there in the first half and kept turning up it was really special to be a part of.
“You pride yourself when things aren’t going your way to hang in the game and eventually it’s going to turn in your favour. I think we did that really well.
“It was a game where we had to work hard for everything and the team just played exceptionally well. It was really good to be a part of that win.
“I love playing with Sammy, everyone can see what he can do with the ball. He’s an exceptional player. Our job is to work together to get the best outcome for the team and we work quite hard during the week on what that looks like.
“For these next couple of weeks for the remainder of the comp, we’re going to work really hard on our combination and put us in the best position for the rest of the year.”
A nasty collision in Round 9 saw the 26-year-old spend six weeks on the sidelines with broken ribs and a punctured lung, but a calm and collected Hutchison said that despite overcoming some setbacks during the recovery process, he is now more than capable and willing to guide the Red, White and Blue through season 2021 as he looks to nail down his future with the Club.
For these next couple of weeks for the remainder of the comp, we’re going to work really hard on our combination and put us in the best position for the rest of the year.Drew Hutchison Roosters Five-Eighth
“I've been feeling good,” he said.
“I’ve felt a big difference over the last few weeks. It’s gradually getting better and that’s sort of what we want at this time of year, to be hitting peak form towards the end of the year.
“A couple of weeks ago the process for me was getting deep breaths in. It’s pretty much back to normal and I’m feeling pretty good. There were a couple of moments on the weekend where I was pretty short of breath but I think that was the same as everyone. It was a fatiguing game.
“The Club at the Roosters are unbelievable. Never once did they make me feel like I was in any trouble at all. They were really calm about it all and I trust the medical staff here. The specialists they deal with were unbelievable and there was no stress on me.
“Things have moved along quite nicely at the Roosters and we’ve sort of got a new deal in place for the next couple of years. The final bits of it are getting negotiated now.
“It’s pretty exciting and I’m really happy to be at this great Club. It’s something special when you’re sitting in this team room and you know all the history and everything that’s gone into the jersey.
“It makes you want to be a part of it.”
Overcoming a strenuous relocation period filled with uncertainty and battling the elements in a back-and-forth contest up north, the Roosters’ next challenge comes in the form of the Newcastle Knights - who not only act as the team’s rivals but also neighbours in what has added an intriguing element heading into their Round 19 clash.
“It’s pretty weird, they’re staying right next door to us at the moment,” Hutchison laughed.
“We had a really good start last week on what we want to achieve while we’re up here and our sole focus this week is to back up that performance and really have a good game this weekend.
“It’s something that we’re going to be really building towards this week.”
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