Buzz cuts, Origin and escaping the shadows: The rise of Dylan Edwards

Dylan Edwards this week. Photo: Melinda Jane.
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Penrith Panthers fullback Dylan Edwards spent the first few years of his career hiding in the shadows of other Panthers stars.

But undeniably Edwards has become one of the pillars of the three-time premiership team with an incredible try saving effort on Bailey Simonsson in the 2022 Grand Final, which saw him become the winner of the Clive Churchill medal, and his consistent reliability in the backline.

With halfback and co-captain Nathan Cleary sidelined for an unknown period of time with a pesky hamstring injury, Edwards has been one of the players to stand up and lead the team.

“Obviously, we’d love to have Nathan out there on the field playing alongside us,” Edwards said.

“But I think it provides everyone with the chance to narrow down on their roles and sharpen their tools, so to say.

“I think it provides everyone with a chance to take their game to another level.”

Dylan Edwards chatting with journalist Emily Chate. Photo: Melinda Jane.

The humble as ever Edwards puts all his faith in co-captains Cleary and Isaah Yeo as they lead the team out each week.

“I’m happy running out behind Nathan and Yeoy every week,” Edwards said.

“They’re fantastic and I love them.”

With State of Origin fast approaching, Edwards confirmed he has aspirations to one day pull on the prestigious sky blue jersey.

“I think it is every child’s dream that sort of grows up in Australia,” Edwards said.

“[To be] able to represent their state, it’s something everyone sort of strives for.

“You watch them mid-year and you sort of have since you were a kid, it is almost the pinnacle of rugby league.”

Panthers fullback Dylan Edwards. Photo: NRL Photos.

State of Origin aspirations aside, Edwards has complete faith in his side to bounce back this weekend against the Tigers in Bathurst, after a loss to Manly and last week’s bye.

“We’re excited,” Edwards said of the clash.

“We have a few areas to address in our footy, it’s important for us to go back and do what we do well.

“It’ll be a good opportunity against the Tigers considering they are playing a good brand of footy as well.”

Edwards also confirmed to the Weekender that his new buzz cut is here to stay, citing some friendly fire from his fellow players caused the change.

Dylan Edwards parties in the sheds after the 2023 Grand Final. Photo: NRL Images.

“I’m blessed with a lot of things, but a good head of hair is not one of them,” Edwards revealed.

“The boys have been giving me stick for a while, so I thought we’d get rid off it.”

Edwards will play fullback and continue with the kicking duties for this Saturday afternoon’s game.

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