As the season quickly approaches the Tumut Blues have taken another big step in re-vamping their 2019 squad with the signing of former Blues Junior and Yass Magpie, Jacob Toppin.
After already plucking Tom and Ben Warner from the Yass Magpies late last year, the Blues once again raided their stocks and enticed Toppin back to the team he played 19 matches for in 2017.
After working his way up the ranks, Toppin played a full season of first grade for the Tumut Blues scoring nine tries and kicking 72 goals for his junior club two years ago.
The versatile player left the Blues in 2018 for a season in the Canberra Raiders Cup, going on to score four tries, kick 12 goals and collect a man of the match performance against the Woden Valley Rams where he crossed over for two four-pointers.
Able to play a range of positions Toppin provides plenty of depth for the Blues who have struggled with injuries in the past, and co-coach Dean Bristow knows what a valuable addition to the squad he will be.
“What he brings to the team is huge for us,” Bristow said.
“He can play anywhere, we’ve got the option to push him into hooker but he’s also just as good in the halves, fullback or center.
“It’s a great feather in the cap to have him on board.”
Spending most of his time at dummy half, Toppin joins a backlog of talented rakes for the Blues with the likes of Lachlan Bristow and Jason Webb also vying for the position.
But Bristow says the competition for various positions will only make the team stronger as players battle it out for a position in the team.
“At this stage of the year we’re scratching our head as to who’s going to go where.
“There are a lot of players and a lot of positions where we are a bit uncertain and it will make for some good competition this pre-season.
“It’s definitely a good situation for us.”
In a boost for the recruitment committee of the Blues, Toppin reached out to his junior club wanting to return home and wear the sky blue jersey.
With Tom and Ben Warner also reaching out to the Blues for a chance to play, Bristow says it’s a great sign when quality players are wanting to play for the Blues.
“We’ve had people come to us this year and approach us to play which is something that hasn’t happened for a few years,” he said.
“It’s always a positive sign when you get one of your former locals approach you and want to come back.
“Especially a player the quality of Toppo to be keen to get on board.”
With pre-season starting this week Bristow is looking at adding one last addition to their squad which is already teeming with potential.