Luke Simpson pictured going on the attack for his Northern side last year.
Luke Simpson pictured going on the attack for his Northern side last year. Stuart Turner

Shining rugby league career looming for Ballina footballer

THE good times continue to roll for Ballina footballer Luke Simpson.

Simpson won the Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League grand final with Ballina last season.

He has since been signed to play with Gold Coast Titans feeder club Tweed Seagulls in the Intrust Super Cup.

His latest success came as a member of the Australian indigenous Lloyd McDermott side competing in the Hong Kong Sevens rugby tournament at the weekend.

The Australian outfit took out the shield final, downing the Hong Kong Lions 17-0.

"I didn't know what to expect, it was definitely the best experience of my life," said Simpson after arriving home on Tuesday.

"The atmosphere was amazing and it's definitely a life-changing experience.

"You could hear the crowd in the stadium from 2km down the road."

It was a busy time for Simpson with Hong Kong his first overseas trip.

His visa only came through two days before he left for the trip.

"I really need to thank my mum, dad and family for bending over backwards to help me get there," Simpson said.

"It was an honour to play with Arthur Little, he is a former Australian sevens player and now plays international 10s."

Simpson usually plays rugby league but was selected in the Lloyd McDermott side after a series of impressive performances at the Ella Sevens rugby union tournament in Coffs Harbour.

The idea of playing in the top Australian Sevens team at IRB tournaments in the future is something that excites Simpson.

Kyogle product Shannon Walker signed a sevens contract with the Australian Rugby Union in 2011 and has been part of the team ever since.

Simpson however is now set to switch his focus back to the Seagulls and the Intrust Super Cup.

"I'm still pretty jetlagged but I'm looking forward to getting back into it," he said.

"After the tournament none of our boys had any-thing left in the tank and we definitely enjoyed ourselves."


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