LENNOX HEAD Trojans centre Sam Stewart has reached the pinnacle of his rugby union career after being named New South Wales Country senior player of the year in Sydney on Saturday night.
Stewart received the Will Tanner Plate – a memorial plate named in honour of a former NSW Country prop who died in 1998.
“It's a massive honour and I feel like I've just about ticked every box that I wanted to in my career now,” Stewart said.
“I just missed out on the plate in 2004, so to get it this season and take on a leadership role and the vice-captaincy, really feels like I've come full circle.”
The Cockatoos suffered their third defeat of the 2011 representative season in a bruising 18-16 encounter against NSW Sub Districts on Saturday night.
Despite the disappointing loss Stewart was thrilled to be part of the Cockatoos team with four other players from Far North Coast.
Jeff Wilson, Matt Liddle, Mick Muir (Lennox Head) and Ben Damen (Wollongbar-Alstonville) all performed well.
“It was great to be with the local boys because I know how hard they all worked to get there,” Stewart said.
“Ben Damen got better with every game and it was a bit of a swansong for Jeff (Wilson).
“He got to captain the team and I know how much it ment to him to finish his representative career on a high.
“It's great to go back to training and have three guys with me who shared the experience.”
Stewart will now attempt to help guide the Trojans to a fourth consecutive grand final.
“I can't wait to get back to Lennox Head and just throw the footy around and have a bit of fun,” he said.
“It's been a long representative season and it will be great to be back in to the local competition.”
Stewart has one more game with the Country Gold team that will take on Sydney City in an ABC TV match on June 11.
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