Grand final heroes now Jack Buchanan's team-mates

Jack Buchanan was just 12 years of age when Braith Anasta and Matt Utai were playing in the 2004 NRL Grand Final.


Growing up in Culburra on the NSW South Coast, the new Wests Tigers prop was a Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs supporter. The former Culburra Dolphins junior idolised the likes of Steve Menzies, Luke Patten and Shane Webcke.


Imagine the feeling 20-year-old Buchanan got when he ran onto Hunter Stadium on Monday night for his NRL debut against the Newcastle Knights with Anasta and Utai in the same jersey as him.


Anasta played five-eighth and Utai was on the wing in the Bulldogs win over the Sydney Roosters.


They won the grand final and to now be here training with them is an unbelievable experience, Buchanan said.


But Im over that now.


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An impressive NRL debut in the 42-10 loss to Newcastle on Monday night has seen Buchanan keep his starting position alongside Keith Galloway for this Sundays clash against Penrith Panthers at Campbelltown Sports Stadium.


It was a solid performance by Buchanan who produced some strong runs and solid defence in his 41 minutes in his first top grade premiership match.


Today, Buchanan fronted the media for the first time, all wanting to know more about the young man who joined Wests Tigers for 2013 after playing for St George-Illawarra in the NYC last season.


It is every kids dream to play NRL and to play in it was a good feeling, Buchanan said.


Im glad I have kept my spot but you just cant be happy with that. You have got to keep working for the team and hopefully we can turn around our performance and get a win this weekend.


We left the field pretty embarrassed. You dont go out there to lose by that score. You dont go out there to lose at all.


It will be a tough battle against Penrith. They have some big forwards but we, as a pack, like a challenge. I like a challenge myself and like to step up to see what I can do. The NRL is a huge challenge and Im trying to take my opportunity with both hands.