Big Nate buddies up with Bulldogs

Big Nate buddies up with Bulldogs

And the big men of rugby league don’t look so big any more...

Almost everyone remembers the Paul Hogan line gleefully delivered in Crocodile Dundee when Mick is confronted by an armed mugger: “that’s not a knife… that’s a knife.”

A similar line could be heard at Canterbury Bulldogs training this morning when Australian Boomer Nathan Jawai popped in for a visit: “that’s not a big man… that’s a big man.”

And so it was when the strong men of rugby league came face to face (well, face to chest) with big Nate, who dropped in on the Doggies before the Boomers hit the court for the opening session of a five day training camp in Sydney this afternoon.

Check out the photos, courtesy of Titan Management:

And don’t forget, tickets for the Boomers v Tall Blacks game in Sydney on Sunday August 23 will go on sale on Thursday. Nothing is guaranteed when it comes to selection, but there’s a BIG chance that you’ll see Nathan on court in the green and gold of Australia.

Almost as big as the man himself.

Visit on Thursday to book your tickets.

In related news, AAP’s James Dampney caught up with Nathan this morning and found out how valuable the Boomers’ international season is to Jawai’s professional future.

Jawai’s pro impact starts with Boomers

Boomers big man Nathan Jawai is hoping a successful stint with the Australian team can be a springboard to securing his future in the NBA, Dampney writes.

After being drafted by Indiana and then traded to Toronto last year, Jawai had a dismal rookie year blighted by a heart problem that forced him to spend four months on the sidelines.

The 208cm centre has since been traded again, sent to the Dallas Mavericks in the off-season as part of a three-team deal also involving Orlando and Memphis.

Back in Australia for the build-up to Australia`s two-game Oceania series against New Zealand which will determine seedings for next year`s world championships, Jawai is hoping his time with the Boomers will prepare him for his sophomore NBA season.

Jawai`s two-year rookie contract expires after this season, so  the 22-year-old indigenous Australian knows he has to show his true  potential to extend his stay in the highly-lucrative league.

"I need to get on the court and make an impact,” Jawai told reporters in Sydney on Wednesday.

"Playing for the Boomers I think will be a great thing for me to get back into game shape, because I`ve been out for a while.

"I`ve just got to go back and have a good pre-season and hopefully I can cement my spot there and get some playing minutes.”

Jawai played just six games with the Raptors last season, spending the majority of his rookie campaign in the secondary NBA Development League.

He has shown an impressive commitment to the national program, with Jawai sure to be an integral part of the team alongside Andrew Bogut and Patrick Mills for the next decade.

The former NBL rookie of the year demonstrated his ability with a 28-point, 11-rebound effort in a Boomers loss to China earlier this month.

Jawai is attending this week`s training camp under new coach  Brett Brown in Sydney before a tour of South America ahead of the  showdown with the Tall Blacks next month.

In a busy off-season, Jawai also played once for Dallas in the NBA Summer League, hitting one free throw and pulling down four rebounds in 14 minutes on court.

Mills is another Australian fighting for his NBA future.

Like Jawai, Mills was drafted in the second round, but a broken foot means Portland are yet to offer the pint-sized point guard a contract.

But Jawai has no doubt Mills belongs in the world`s best basketball league.

"It has been a real tough year for him, he broke his wrist and now his foot,” Jawai said.

"But he is a tough kid who will bounce back and I am sure he will get a club in the NBA within the next two years.

"He could play this year, I don`t know. I have Andrew (Bogut) there and it would be good to have another Aussie.”