Northern Rivers league player confirmed for 2017 NRL team
NORTHERN United player Theo Hippi has taken a step into the big league after being signed by South Sydney Rabbitohs.
"(We) would like to congratulate our 2016 first grade player Theo Hippi on the signing of his first NRL contract," Northern United wrote on its Facebook page.
The 19-year-old played for the Lismore club in the Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League competition for three years, and spent one year with the Evans Head Bombers.
He starts training on November 1, which runs four days a week at 5.45am.
He said he would be happy to play in any position but would likely remain at lock, as that's where he trialled.
Hippi said he would continue to train hard, maintain a good worth ethic and "just be there on time, everytime".
He recalled the most memorable moments from his time playing for Northern United.
"When our team mate passed away - Thomas Randal - the first game after that we beat Ballina and I think that was really good for Thomas," Hippi said.
That was in late June, when the team won 24-10 at Crozier Field in Lismore.
"Another time we beat Murwillumbah, and I couldn't do that for all the years playing, then we beat them," he said. "That was this year."
A-grade Northern United coach Djaan Jarrett, wished his former player well.
"This is a credit to his dedication, commitment and hard work that he has always put in," he said.
"Not only am I proud of him, his community is and his family is as well.
"He's a bit raw as a player but he's got a lot of talent ... hopefully being around professional footballers he'll be able to harness himself into a better player."
Jarrett said Hippi was easy to coach, always listening and implementing what he learned.