Harry Grant on his breakout year

Hard at work: Harry Grant wants to keep working on his game and ensuring he's doing everything to help his team win. Picture: Wests Tigers

Hard at work: Harry Grant wants to keep working on his game and ensuring he's doing everything to help his team win. Picture: Wests Tigers

He may be the breakout star of the 2020 NRL season, but Wests Tigers young gun Harry Grant is taking each day as it comes.

The 22-year-old hooker has been killing it at his temporary home during this disrupted season.

Grant joined the Wests Tigers from the Melbourne Storm just as the season was paused for the Covid-19 lockdown after round two.

Tiger Paul Momirovski joined the Storm at the same time, in a historic swap deal to last just for the 2020 season.

Grant told the Advertiser the current NRL bubble - where players must not interact with the public to ensure there's no possibility of bringing coronavirus into the league - was "a bit different", but a necessary thing to make sure the game survives the year.

"There are lots of rules and restrictions outside of footy at the moment, who's inside the training bubble and who's outside the training bubble, so it's all been quite unfamiliar for myself and the players," he said. "But you've just got to buy into what needs to happen for the NRL.

"You can't mix and mingle with too many people outside the playing bubble, and that's been tough on a few players mentally.

"But it's all about getting around each other and coming out better at the end."

Grant said he was loving his time at the Wests Tigers, and experienced players like Benji Marshall and Chris Lawrence had helped him settle in.

"They've been a great help to me," he said.

"Moses Mbye has also been very supportive of me for the last few months. They're great blokes - mates first, and a help on the field second."

He said it was a strange experience finding himself at the centre of rugby league conversations this year.

Grant is currently sitting equal second on the Dally M leaderboard, level with Jason Taumalolo and Shaun Johnson on 11 points. Clint Gutherson sits on top with 12 points.

"It's a bit weird at the moment," he said.

"It's pretty special I guess, who my name is around on that list. But it doesn't mean too much at this time - I've just got to focus on playing good footy week to week; good footy for the team to get the result."

Grant, who had previously played two NRL games for the Melbourne Storm before making a splash with the Tigers this year, said getting quality match time was his biggest highlight of the season.

"I love being around some good blokes and quality players and I'm enjoying playing NRL," he said.

"I've always wanted to do that since I was a young kid, and it's pretty special to do it at the Wests Tigers."

He said his goals were getting more experience under his belt, "trying to build some consistency each week" in his game, and "earning some respect from the coaches here". And it's not just his own game that needs more consistency, Grant said, but the club's as well.

"We need to put an 80-minute performance together," he said. "We've been in and out of games for the past few weeks, and we've only dished up one 80-minute performance. We're building each week, but we need to put together 80 strong minutes."

Wests Tigers will face Brisbane Broncos on Friday night.