Milne out to build on 2016

STEPPING UP: Young Dragons centre Taane Milne says his debut season in the NRL was a steep learning curve. Picture: Adam McLean
STEPPING UP: Young Dragons centre Taane Milne says his debut season in the NRL was a steep learning curve. Picture: Adam McLean

IT was certainly a roller coaster year but young Dragons centre Taane Milne believes he took major strides on and off the field in 2016.

The former Junior Kiwi joined the Dragons last year after being let go by the Roosters for some lapses in small disciplines.

He was handed and NRL debut in round eight against his former club but it proved brief after he was knocked out cold in a collision with Rooster forward Dyland Napa.

He had to produce some strong performances for the Illawarra Cutters and wait until round 20 for another opportunity but made the most of it with a strong finish to the season. It puts him in the box seat to keep his spot on the right edge in 2017, though he’s learned not take such things for granted.

“Back in the day I thought I just had to turn up to training go through the motions and then play one the weekend,’ Milne said.

“When you get to first grade it’s a lot different to that, everyone’s got that talent but they work hard.

“It’s not just talent that gets you there, you’ve got to do the work as well.

“I think I’ve really taken big steps in that direction and I’ve taken a lot of confidence out of last year.

“It was good to get the debut against the old club but Napa got me a good shot.

“I had to wait seven or eight weeks after that so I was just happy to get that game out and play a few at the end of the year.

“There’s a lot of good players in our team and a lot of competition so you’re not just going to walk in there and take a spot. Every week everyone’s playing for a spot and I know that now.”