Son of NRL great makes ‘ridiculous’ admission

Nerves almost got the better of Jayden Campbell in the dressing room prior to his first grade debut against Melbourne, but the 21-year-old’s performance suggested he’ll be around for many years to come.

The son of Preston Campbell, Jayden donned the Titans’ number one jumper once worn by his father, and impressed in a losing cause, with the Storm hanging on to win 20-14.

His try-saving tackle on Melbourne’s Nicho Hynes in the closing stages, which forced a mistake from his opposite number, kept the Titans’ faint hopes of victory alive.

But Campbell admitted after the match that pre-game nerves were on a level he hadn’t experienced before.

“They were ridiculous, I think I spewed about four or five times before the game,” he revealed on Fox League.

“Justin (Holbrook) told me to back myself, he knows I’m a tough kid and he just wants me to be me.

“All I’ve ever wanted to do is play rugby league, and to represent the Titans, the same as my old man, it’s awesome.”

On one of Campbell’s first carries with the ball he ran into Melbourne’s Nelson Asofa-Solomona, who put a big hit on the 21-year-old.

“It’s completely different to the levels I’ve played before. I said to myself before the game that I was going to try to stay away from big Nelson, I ran straight into him!” Campbell said.

Campbell’s coach, Justin Holbrook, was full of praise for the debutant.

“I thought he was great for his first game,” Holbrook said.

“It’s not an easy assignment, playing the Melbourne Storm in your first game, and he was terrific.

“He’s a great young player.”

The tackle on Hynes, which came with less than 10 minutes remaining and with the Storm in front by six, earned the approval of Holbrook.

“He’s a tough kid, when he’s carrying the ball back everyone wants to smash him, there’s not much of him, but he doesn’t let it happen, and he makes his tackles,” Holbrook said.

“He understands the game well, he’s probably held back a little bit in what I want from him, he’s got more to give but that’s understandable being his first game.

“He’ll only get better and be a lot better for it.”

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