|Woods at the 2012 Dally M Awards|
13 March 1991 |
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
|Height||194 cm (6 ft 4 in)|
|Weight||109 kg (17 st 2 lb)|
|2012–14||Prime Minister's XIII||2||2||0||0||8|
|2013–14||New South Wales||6||0||0||0||0|
|As of 31 May 2015|
Aaron Woods (born 13 March 1991) is an Australian rugby league player who currently plays for the Wests Tigers in the NRL. His position is at prop and he has represented New South Wales in State of Origin.
Woods played junior football with Leichhardt Juniors and participated in the Balmain Tigers Development Program. He based his game on players Jason Ryles and Ben Kennedy. He attended St Mary's Cathedral College, Sydney and later played for Holy Cross College, Ryde, and represented NSW Catholic Colleges when he was 17. In 2008, he played for the Australian schoolboys side.
In 2009, Woods played for Wests Tigers' Toyota Cup side in their run to the Grand Final, but 2010 was mired by injury, with his hamstring coming close to being torn completely off the bone. However, before the start of the 2011 season, Ricky Stuart named him in a "Blues in Waiting" squad, for potential future NSW State of Origin players. He was described as one of, "the State's best crop of young talent."
Woods made his NRL debut for the Wests Tigers at the start of the 2011 season, scoring a try in his 4th appearance. He was a regular in the first-grade team throughout the year, mostly starting from the bench. His first season form was described as, "impressive," and, "one of the few constants in an erratic Wests Tigers' NRL season." He was named the club's rookie of the year.
With the departure of Bryce Gibbs and Todd Payten, Woods became a starting prop at the start of 2012 season. After seven weeks, Woods made his senior representative debut with City Origin. Coach Brad Fittler said of his performance, "I thought he was the best prop on the field. I'm sure he'll build from this, and whether it's this year or next year, he looks like someone who can make the step up."
Woods was named as a standby player for NSW in the first two State of Origin matches of 2012, to cover for any late injuries. It was commented in the press that he had, "arguably been the form front-rower of the competition so far." Over the season he made 377 runs for 3455 metres and made 808 tackles, placing him near the best in the NRL in yardage, and in the top twenty in tackles made. He was one only 3 Wests Tigers players to appear in every game throughout the season, and was named the club's Player of the Year. At the end of the year he was nominated for Prop of the Year at the Dally M awards. Steve Roach later said, "He virtually carried them [the Tigers] last year, when Galloway was injured. I reckon, along with James Tamou, he's the best ball-running front-rower in the comp."
In 2013, Woods made his State of Origin debut in game two after James Tamou was suspended for a drink-driving offence. He also played in the third game of the series, but saw limited time on the field in both matches. Playing for the Wests Tigers, Woods was averaging a high 60 minutes per game in an inexperienced front row, before succumbing to injury late in the season. Woods later signed a contract to remain with the Wests Tigers for a further three seasons. Despite a lucrative offer from the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles, Woods say he was unable to leave Wests Tigers. "It was a mental thing. I love to be in the comfort zone, so I stayed here. Also, the Wests Tigers looked after me. I had a few injuries and they stuck by me; guess I was ready to give back what they gave to me."
Thought by some to be the form prop during the early NRL rounds, he was considered unlucky not to be selected in the 2014 ANZAC Test. Woods went on to be named as a starting prop for New South Wales in the 2014 State of Origin series. He was one of three NSW players to carry the ball 100 metres in game one, and then contributed to the team winning its first series in nine years.
Woods finished 2014 as the Tigers' leader in offloads and hitups, scoring a personal best 4 tries. At the end of the season, Woods was again chosen to play for Prime Minister's XIII, scoring two tries, and was described as "the dominant player up the middle."
In May 2014, Woods was chosen as one of Australia's starting props in the Anzac Test. Despite Woods making, "plenty of metres" and having, "a strong work rate", the team suffered a comprehensive defeat. A third of the way through the season, Woods was averaging 215 metres a game, 50 more than the next best prop in the competition.
- League Central
- Aaron Woods rugbyleagueproject.org
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