Former Bunnies player debuts with Melbourne Storm
Former Umina Bunnies player Nicho Hynes made his National Rugby League debut in front of a home crowd on August 10 when he played with Melbourne Storm against the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Central Coast Stadium.
Nicho grew up in Umina and family and friends watched on with pride as he realised a lifelong dream and pulled on the number 22 jersey for the Storm to play as stand-in fullback.
For Nicho, the journey to the NRL was not an easy one.
He said he almost called it quits as a 21-year-old, after he had signed with the Mackay cutters, moved to Queensland but couldn't find steady work.
He was tossing up whether to throw in the towel when he spoke with his older brother Wade Hynes.
"He told me there was no way I could quit and he reminded me that as a five-year-old me I had a dream of playing in the NRL.
"So I stuck it out," Nicho said.
That determination led to a call-up with the Sunshine Coast Falcons, the Storm's feeder club, and in May this year he signed a one-year deal with the Storm.
His brother was given the honour of presenting Nicho his debut jersey during a ceremony hosted by the Storm the day before the game.
Nicho said he couldn't have made it to the NRL without the support of his family and frienfds.
The Storm went on to win the game 26-16 thanks in no small part to Nicho who made 17 runs and two tackle busts.
Media release, 13 Aug 2019
Brittany Deaton, Melbourne Storm
Interview (Dilon Luke), 13 Aug 2019
Nicho Hynes, Melbourne Storm