Not many people would have recognised the name Stephen Gill when he was named in the first XV for the Bulls.
Still, in the Bulls two opening matches against Albury and Wagga City, Gill has orchestrated two very composed performances, guiding the Bulls to a 2-0 record to start the season.
The playmaker was instrumental on the weekend against the much-fancied City side, crossing for a try, kicking two important penalty goals and giving the Bulls good field position with his accurate kicking game.
The 22-year-old plumber only arrived in Tumut after moving from Brisbane in January after his partner found work locally.
“Alex (Alexandra Walton) is the new physio at Tumut back and foot clinic,” he said.
“After Alex was offered the job, we came to Tumut to check it out and loved it.”
“I then found work with Murray and Sons and we made the move.”
Gill was straight into the thick of things when he arrived, being involved in the Royal Hotel’s nines campaign.
“Yeah, I played all their games and it was good to get involved with Chappy’s (Mat Chapman) team and meeting some of the boys,” he said.
It was this connection with the Royal Hotel and Chapman that led Gill to registering with the Bulls.
“Yeah, Chappy (Mat Chapman) told me that I was playing with the Bulls and it just went from there,” laughed Gill.
The talented standoff hasn’t always been a rah rah, having spent his earlier years in rugby league.
“I always played league until I went to a private school, then played two years of first XV and also played a little bit of rep footy but nothing to high level,” he said.
“I left school and played two years at Norths Brisbane Colts.”
At this stage, a burgeoning club rugby career was on the cards before a serious injury got in the way.
“I tore my MCL and fractured my leg when I was caught in a ruck and my leg bent the wrong way,” he said.
“I ended up taking a year and a half off from footy and just wanted to get the confidence back in my leg.”
2019 is Gill’s first year back playing and he just loves the atmosphere in Tumut.
“(The Bulls) are a great club and everyone has been very welcoming and made fitting in very easy,” he said.
“The boys treat me like family.”
Gill is preparing for a tough season of rugby in his first time playing in the Southern Inland Rugby Union competition.
“The competition seems very strong and physical but Tumut have great depth across the grades, which pushes everyone to improve each and every week,” he said.
Bull’s co-coach, Morgan Grivas has been happy with what he has seen of Gill so far.
“Stephen so far has done a really good job of fitting in and buying into the Ethos of the club,” he said.
“We are asking him to play a different style compared to previous players in the same position and he is doing what has been asked of him so far.”
Gill can play scrum half and fly half but definitely prefers to play one off the ruck.
“Yeah, I prefer the ten but I’ll play wherever I’m needed,” he said.
His composure and astute kicking game will be a welcome addition to the traditionally forward-orientated club.
Moving forward after the Easter break, the Bulls will have their first away trip for the season when they visit CSU on April 27.