It may be his fifth NRL season, but for Nick Meaney, his 2022 has been filled with firsts.
A first finals campaign, first season in Melbourne, first long-term injury and, more personally, first season as a dad.
Nick: ‘We’re all upbeat so hopefully we can carry that through’
88 appearances deep into his first-grade career, on Saturday Meaney will finally run out onto an NRL field in a finals series when Melbourne Storm face the Canberra Raiders at AAMI Park in week one of the 2022 Telstra Premiership Finals Series.
“I'm pretty excited, obviously a few nerves there. I haven't played in finals and the magnitude of the games,” Meaney said, speaking ahead of the finals match-up.
“We take it each week at the time and but now I'm really excited.”
Previously playing 65 games for the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs and Newcastle Knights, the fullback has experience with his playing season ending after the regular season. Instead of booking his flight home, Meaney is using the excitement as motivation to keep the momentum going.
“The body is feeling not too bad, the shoulders hanging in there but mentally feeling good,”
“We’re all upbeat so hopefully we can carry that throughout the whole weekend leading into the game.”
His first season at Melbourne has been the definition of ‘expect the unexpected’.
Playing a true utility role and nailing it at every turn from filling in for Ryan Papenhuyzen at fullback, to covering Cameron Munster at Five-eighth, Meaney also had an off-field addition to his season, the birth of his first child.
“It's definitely made it a little bit harder.” Meaney shared.
“You go home and you see them and no matter what happened during the day whether it was a bad day or a good day, you get home and they just brighten it your world,
“It's been a good sort of leeway away from football, but at the same time some mornings I’m coming in a little bit more tired than normal,
“It's all part of the job and I'm loving it.”