David Mead talks PNG, NRL and France

06 May 20, 9:03PM 0 Comments

Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk

Photo by Getty Images

David Mead has been playing rugby league at the highest level of the game for over a decade now and worked hard to get to this point from humble beginnings, growing up in Papua New Guinea.

“I grew up in a village that loved rugby league.

“All of my mates and I would play footy at lunchtime and after school. We didn’t have much growing up so we would use empty coke bottles as footy’s.

“When I go back I still see the same thing. They love rugby league and sport in general.” Mead told Everything Rugby League.

He would have the honour of representing his country of birth at just 20-years-old before even making his NRL debut and has gone on to captain them in the 2017 Rugby League World Cup.

“It means a lot to represent my family and my country. It feels special because I think back to moments as a kid playing with my mates and when I used to watch the NRL games with all my family cheering on our favourite teams.”

Mead would really make a name for himself at the Gold Coast Titans, where he played 147 and made a few memories.

“I think playing in the semi-finals in my first year is up there amongst my favourite memories.

“Maybe even my first try because I always dreamt of scoring a try in the NRL.”

After a lengthy first grade run at the Titans, Mead would join the Brisbane Broncos in 2017.

Despite this being a shorter run with less NRL games played, Mead found the club really helped him improve.

“My time at the Broncos was invaluable for me.

“I had to pick myself up most weeks because I wasn’t in first grade regularly. I think overcoming this type of adversity has helped me improve other parts of my life.

“You won’t be handed anything that is worthwhile so you have to work hard and be willing to learn to get it.”

The next year the 31-year-old moved to the Catalans Dragons in France and found the initial few months tough to settle in, however, was proud to be at a club with such passionate fans.

“When I first arrived in France with my family we missed home and were feeling homesick for about six months. That was a tough period especially for my wife because of the language barrier and she found it hard communicating with people.

“Since learning a bit of french and making friends here our stay here has been very enjoyable.

“There are a lot of fans here who have been around for a very long time supporting the club. They are very passionate people and are proud of this region. So when we play in front of them they are chanting and singing throughout the game which is pretty cool.”

In 2018, following a long and impressive career, Mead would win his first piece of silverware, as the Catalans Dragons took out the Challenge Cup.

“It was a great experience winning the Challenge Cup because I could see how much it meant for the supporters of the club and the people of this area.

“A lot of of them couldn’t go to England for the game so when we arrived back in Perpignan the airport was packed at 1 am and we got a huge reception when we walked through the arrival gates. There was plenty of singing and chanting that will stay in my memory forever.”

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