Devils player suits up for national gridiron

GRIDIRON: Lachlan Torrisi normally plays rugby league for the mighty Gympie Devils on Saturdays, but not last weekend.

Last weekend he padded up and donned a helmet to play in the Australian under-19 American football side, gridiron, as we Aussies call it.

The Australian side played in a World Cup qualifier against New Zealand at Sunshine Coast Stadium.

Torrisi's side won the Oceanic Bowl in a tight match 13-7 and will fly out to represent the region in the U.S. next week.

The 118kg, 185cm forward's love of American football started while watching the NFL on television.

After enjoying watching the game he looked it up online and saw there was a local competition.

"There's no point just watching sport," Torrisi said.

For the past two years he has played for the Sunshine Coast Spartans gridiron team.

Spartans's home grounds are at the Sunshine Coast stadium and Torrisi was part of the their premiership-winning team last season. One of his Spartans coaches, Luke Champion, is also an Australian coach.

The St Patrick's College student tried out for the Queensland side at the start of the year but couldn't make it to the training in Brisbane

In March he competed in the gridiron state competition as part of the Queensland team against New South Wales and hosts Western Australia.

Queensland won the competition

Torrisi is excited about his overseas trip but expects some stiff opposition.

"We will need to be prepared for some really big sides," he said.

The 18-year-old will still be eligible for the under-19 Australian side next year.

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Topics:  gridiron gympie devils sport

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