Ian Hindmarsh was one of Catalans Dragons’ first signings ahead of their Super League debut in 2006. He spoke to me for Thirteen shortly after his move was announced. In the end, he lasted just a year in France before moving back to Australia.
Are you excited by your move to UTC?
Yeah it’ll be interesting to see how the club goes. I don’t know what to think really! They’ve no Super League history so it’ll be interesting to see how we go and what crowds we get.
Are you learning French?
I started learning French but I’ve been pre occupied with other things lately but I’ll pick it back up soon.
What’s your knowledge of the French game and the UTC players?
Not much to be honest. I know the guys who are going over there from Australia and New Zealand. My father went over to watch my brother play for Australia against France last year and came back and said there were some really good young French players and I’ve since found out that some of those are in the UTC team.
He probably mentioned Djamel Fakir did he? He had a great game that day.
Yeah, dad said that. He said there was a young back rower who went really good and it turned out that it was him and that I’d be playing with him so that’s good.
What about Stacey Jones?
Yes, very excited about playing with Stacey. When we played the Warriors recently, he was just on fire. He’s a classy player.
Do you plan to play for Great Britain as the reports suggest?
Yeah I’d love to. Everyone wants to go as far as they can in representative football. I’m lucky I qualify for Great Britain as I have my British citizenship so, yes, it’s something I’d be keen on doing.
Your mother’s family is from Workington aren’t they?
Yeah. She was born in Dundee but grew up in Workington. My grandmother is still there as well as a couple of aunts, uncles and cousins. I haven’t been there since I was two so it will be a good opportunity to catch up.
Has your brother Nathan got any ambition to play over here do you think?
He hasn’t really said but I think it’s something that most people want to do. It’s great to get the chance to go and work somewhere else in the world but Nath hasn’t come out and said he wants to go out there just yet.
Who has been the biggest influence on your rugby league career and why?
Brian Smith definitely. He’s been a massive influence. I’m also playing good footy under Matty Elliott and I’m more relaxed under him but I was at the Eels for seven years so definitely Brian Smith. My football knowledge comes from him. Rod Reddy has also had an influence on my game and I was coached for a year by Daniel Anderson as well. But definitely Brian the most.
Do Smith and Elliott talk about the English game much having both coached here?
Yes, all the time! Matty also talks about his stint in France as a player. Plus the guys who have been over there like Jason Smith and Matt Adamson as well as other mates of mine who have gone over there and played talk it up quite a bit.
Who was your boyhood rugby league idol?
No one in particular really but I used to like watching Bradley Clyde and Bobby Lindner; the work rate type players.
So were you always going to be a back rower?
No, I started out as a hooker as a kid as I was a skinny little runt and I’ve still got skinny legs! I’m not the quickest so I couldn’t play in the backs so the back row is the best for me.
Who do you look up to in the modern game?
I take a fair bit of notice of what my brother does and Sonny Bill Williams is one of the most talented players I’ve seen going round in a while.
What has been your best moment in rugby league?
Probably winning the Reserve Grade Grand Final in 1999 against the Tigers for Parramatta.
You had an awesome team at Parra in 2001. What went wrong in the Grand Final?
We couldn’t tackle. Or hold the ball. I haven’t looked at the game since and don’t want to remember it. We had a great team that year, absolutely annihilated everyone in the competition. It was an awesome team and we couldn’t do anything wrong. We only just lost the Grand Final (30-24) but it was 20 odd nil at half time. They just went through the middle of us.
Who’s been your most difficult opponent?
No one really. Wendall Sailor was tough to stop when he was returning the football on massive kick returns.
What’s it like playing against Nathan now you‘ve moved to Canberra?
I’ve only been beaten in the World Sevens by him. I’d probably prefer not to play him as things are a bit tense either side of the game!
What are your future ambitions?
I’d love to captain a UTC side to a Premiership and play for Great Britain. At Canberra here this year, we can still make the finals so there are still ambitions here but Canberra gets written off every year!