By PARKER TAMBUA
NORMALLY a centre, Mendi Muruks’ Dickson Pipi has found his rhythm in the fullback role in this Digicel Cup season.
In only his third season at the semi-professional level, the 23-year-old has developed into an attacking weapon with ball in hand shifting to the No.1 jersey replacing injured fullback Sylvester Bulu early in the season and he has not looked back.
A teacher by profession, Pipi, hails from Lower Mendi in Southern Highlands.
Pipi told The National that he has paused his teaching career in order to play rugby league.
Pipi has set his short term goal and that is to help his home team win the Digicel Cup title while in the long run he hopes to crack the SP Hunters squad for next season and going forward.
The rising star who is a product of a local league in Mendi only started playing rugby league at the age of 17 in 2014 offseason leagues.
“I was never a sports man in almost all of my teenage years,” Pipi said.
“I had the first taste of the game when I was 17. That was at our local offseason tournament in 2014.
“In 2015 I went for a three-year study at Madang Teachers Colleague. While there I joined the (National Gaming Control Board) NGCB Knights in Madang League. I mostly played as a centre and fullback at times.
After completing my studies at the end of 2017, I went home. I was doing nothing so I was with some teams in the local league in Mendi.
“Surprisingly I caught the eyes of Muruks scouts and I was selected to be part of the 2018 squad for the Digicel Cup campaign.
“I’ve been with the Mruks since then, this is my third season.”
Pipi did not miss a game in his debut season playing 18 straight matches without injury.
However, he fell short of achieving his dream when he was named in the SP Hunters 2018 pre-season train on squad but was left out after failing medical and fitness tests.
“That was very disappointing as I was aiming to make it to the Hunters final squad. However, I blame myself because at the time of checks I was taking some stuff that wasn’t right for my body which is why I failed.”
By PARKER TAMBUA