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It’s already been a season to remember for VB NSW Cup rising-star, Tyrone Phillips, who recently made his NRL and international debut.

Phillips is the VB NSW Cup leading try scorer with 13 tries after Round 15, and earned the honours of playing for the Canterbury Bulldogs’ first grade side as well as playing for Fiji against Papua New Guinea. 

At 21 years of age, Phillips made the successful move from South Sydney Rabbitohs to the Canterbury Bulldogs in 2014 and his on-field form this season is testament to his determination to achieve his goals.

“I believe I could play consistent footy if given the chance,” Phillips said. “I’m just patiently waiting for the next opportunity to hop back in the team.” 

Phillips’ scintillating form – which has seen him score eight tries in his past three matches – can be put down to the hard work and sacrifices he made to become a better player.

“I’m enjoying my footy due to [changing my] outside life with staying indoors and having a more structured lifestyle,” Phillips said. “It’s been helping me with my football.

“For my achievements this year I have changed my outside life to help benefit my inside life with footy to keep me more relaxed and calm.”

As the old adage goes, you reap what you sow and Phillips is enjoying the benefits of his dramatic lifestyle change. Phillips was awarded his first-grade debut for the Bulldogs this season in their thrilling 35-34 victory against the Canberra Raiders (round 11 on 24 May).

Hungry for more, Phillips is determined to keep working hard in the VB NSW Cup to earn himself a permanent first-grade role.

“When I get into the first grade team I want to play consistent footy and keep that spot, cause it’s a hard spot to earn, and I want to make it mine.”

Phillips also had the opportunity to represent Fiji in an international game in May against Papua New Guinea where they won 22-10, which was a shock for the modest winger who had not made his NRL debut at that stage.

“That was a good experience, probably one of the best camps I’ve ever been on and it was a good time away with all the Fijian boys with the Fijian culture and lifestyle,” said Phillips. “Just to be around everyone was another dream come true to play for my people.”

The decision to leave South Sydney was not taken lightly by the La Perouse junior but the move has already proved successful in his journey to make a name for himself in the NRL.

“I’m playing good footy from what people have been telling me,” Phillips said. “[The move has been] good. It’s been helping me out a lot being around new areas, culture, people and staff; it’s been really helpful. I’ve really enjoyed my time at the Bulldogs and hopefully I get to stay here.”

While Phillips is living proof that hard work does indeed pay off, there is still plenty to come for this rising young star.

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