Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk
Trent Waterhouse has achieved some great feats in his career, both on and off the field. The man nicknamed “House” spent a decade in the NRL, represented NSW and Australia, along with three seasons in Super League.
Waterhouse grew up playing his junior football with the Cambridge Park and Emu Plains RLFC’s and would go on to play for his childhood club, the Penrith Panthers.
“It was definitely always a dream of mine to play first grade. I was footy mad as a kid and going to watch games at Penrith Park I’d always think about how good it would be to be out there playing one day,” he told Everything Rugby League.
“In 2001 I had stress fractures in my shins so I missed the Jersey Flegg season, I didn’t have anything lined up for the next year so I went to an open trial for Manly but didn’t get a call.
“Then Langy came to the Panthers so I decided to give him a ring and ask for a trial and he gave me a crack” Waterhouse recalled.
He would take full advantage of the opportunity given to him from coach John Lang, making his debut in 2002 and playing in his first Grand Final just one year later as the Panthers would take on the Roosters in 2003.
Even tho the second-rower was only very early into his career and his side were up against the toughest possible opponents, confidence was never an issue for young forward playing just his second season in the NRL.
“I was always confident going into that game. We had a great season, we were minor premiers and we’d beat the Roosters during the year. It’s one thing I really remember about that whole week leading up to that game is just how much belief and confidence there was in the squad. We were having a ball and I always believed we’d get the job done.
“It felt unbelievable once we knew we were home.
“That’s what it’s all about, winning comps with your best mates and partying for a week. It was special” Trent said.
The milestones didn’t stop there for Waterhouse as he would go on to represent New South Wales on five occasions and earn 12 caps for Australia. Getting to wear the Kangaroos’ jersey is a feat that means slightly more to him tho.
“Representing my Country and State were huge honours and both massive highlights of my career, but I think representing your country is a big as it gets in sport. Pulling on that green and gold jersey was an honour knowing all the legends of the game that had worn it before me going back to 1908”
After 10 years at the Panthers in the NRL, the experienced forward headed to Super League in the UK. He would play 82 games for the Warrington Wolves and was apart of their 2012 Challenge Cup winning team.
When asked about the differences between the two competitions, it’s something he acknowledges but that’s not to say he doesn’t have fond memories of his time in England.
“I think the biggest difference with the Super league is the depth of talent. You’ve probably got five teams that can genuinely win the comp, then there’s a fair gap to the rest. You don’t get the week in week out intensity of the NRL.
“But I loved my time over there. Warrington is a great club, the fans are unreal and passionate. I got to play in some big games at Wembley, Old Trafford and took away some great memories.”
Since retiring Trent Waterhouse has joined the Australian emergency services, becoming a firefighter which is something he had always hoped to do in life after Rugby League.
His current and former occupations are obviously quite different, however Waterhouse believes there are some similarities.
“I think there are a lot of similarities, that’s what I love about the job. You’re in a team environment and you have to work together in pressure situations and there’s a lot of good banter around the station similar to a footy club. It’s been the perfect fit for me post footy and Id recommend it highly to any players thinking about a career after footy.”