Canberra’s former bad boy Hudson Young puts his career-best form this season down to finally learning to control his aggression on the field.
An angry man when he burst into first grade in 2019, Young was suspended twice that year for eye gouging.
But at 24, Young is now older and wiser and has changed his ways – and it’s one of the main reasons the Raiders are just two games from the grand final.
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The once-fiery forward is now a genuine weapon in the Raiders pack and has a remarkable 14 tries this season to prove it.
That’s more than in his previous three seasons combined and has many tipping Young as a bolter for Australia’s World Cup squad.
“I was a bit fiery when I started in first grade and thought I had to prove myself I guess,” Young told Wide World of Sports.
“I paid the price a few times for that and it made me realise I had to tone down the aggression.
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“It’s a fine line because you don’t want to back down, but at the same time you can’t go over the top.
“I’ve found the right balance now and believe I am playing the best footy of my career.
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“I had a good pre-season, I’ve got a real confidence in my game and Ricky (Stuart) is letting me back myself and it’s been great.”
Young knows that Parramatta presents the Raiders with a massive challenge on Friday.
“They are a classy side – they finished in the top four for a reason,” he said.
“They really come at you through the middle but our forwards have been going great guns and I believe we can handle them.”
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