Seagulls embrace exchange student

AN AUSTRIAN exchange student who had never even heard of rugby league four months ago has quickly become the “hit machine” for Ballina Seagulls’ under-18 team. Winger Stefan Psota will play his final game at the club tomorrow before heading home, but he has already left a lasting impression on coach Paul Tagget.

“He (Stefan) saw a game on TV and decided he wanted to (play),” Tagget said.

“We had to show him everything from scratch, he ended up scoring a try in his first game and has put plenty of big hits ever since.”

Stefan now plans to try his hand at rugby union when he returns to Austria.

“We don’t have rugby league, but I’ve found out we have a national rugby union team and I want to play for them,” he said.

“(Rugby league) is way better than soccer and I want to come back and play again.”

Stefan might look to stay on his wing tomorrow against Marist Brothers when they welcome back prop Will Bugden to the under-18s fold.

Bugden has been on representative duty with NSW’s Country Under-18s team and wants to get back in first grade.

“He (Bugden) has been like a caged lion at training and is looking forward to playing with us again,” Brothers first grade coach David Krause said.

“I’ve got massive wraps on him,.”

The 17-year-old will link up with the Parramatta Eels and follow in the footsteps of his grand final winning father Geoff Bugden.

Kick-off is at noon.

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