NRL veteran’s 1819-day first grade wait is over
When Dragons forward Mitchell Allgood last strapped on an NRL boot Tony Abbott was Prime Minister and South Sydney went on to win the premiership. Now he's ready to rip in to the Storm.
In front of a few thousand diehard Dragons fans against Melbourne at WIN Stadium tonight, Allgood will run out for his first NRL appearance in 1,819 days.
It's an achievement so special - driven by a deep love for the game, perservance in park footy and just being a bloody good bloke - that is reason alone, to tune into the footy at 7.30pm tonight.
Almost five years to the day, Allgood finds himself in the Big League NRL starting line-up, named on the bench tonight for the Origin-depleted Dragons.
The 30-year-old's last NRL match was with Parramatta in round 18, 2014, playing alongside the likes of Chris Sandow, Fuifui Moimoi, Semi Radradra and Willie Tonga.
Tony Abbott was the Prime Minister of Australia, South Sydney went onto win the NRL premiership and Protectionist won the Melbourne Cup.
The 2012 NSW City Origin prop spent four years at the Eels - ironically he missed just one game in his rookie year in 2011.
The hugely popular middle-forward moved to the UK Super League in 2015, spending three seasons with the Hull Kingston Rovers and Wakefield Trinity.
He's been bashing his body with the Dragons Canterbury Cup side ever since.
Still chasing his first NRL try after making his NRL debut eight years ago, Allgood's NRL call-up wasn't lost on Dragons coach Paul McGregor.
So proud of the Penrith local junior, McGregor invited Allgood's young family to watch him present one of rugby league's toughest workers with his club debut jersey.
"It's very pleasing for Mitch,'' McGregor said.
"It's been over 1800 days since he last played which is a hell of a lot.
"He's a great clubman. He's a person who plays well in reserve grade on a weekly basis. He's an experienced player and a team-first guy.
"[Tonight] he won't stop moving in defence and will do everything the team needs him to do. He's an enforcer.
"It's a good storyline. He'll get his time out in the middle against Melbourne and won't let anyone down."