RUGBY LEAGUE: Grafton Ghosts captain-coach Danny Wicks' long road to redemption was the centrepiece of a feature story on Channel 9s NRL Footy Show last night.
The story voiced by Erin Molan, who was front and centre at the Group 2 local derby between the Ghosts and bitter rivals South Grafton Rebels on April 9, chronicled Wicks' journey from the bush to the big city and back again.
With a focus on Wicks' drug trafficking conviction and 18 months behind bars at a Glen Innes correctional facility, Molan told the story about how the former Parramatta Eels hardman has turned his life around.
"(Going to jail) just gave me a completely different perspective on life," Wicks told The Footy Show. "You know I will never be unhappy again because you can always do something to change it.
"When I got out it was the fittest I have ever been, and I needed to get back to rugby league for myself."
While he rescaled the heights of rugby league under the guidance of Eels coach Brad Arthur, Wicks made the decision to pull up stumps on his career as he was 'unhappy' in Sydney.
With imagery from the 'Battle of the River' at Frank McGuren Field the foundations of the 'Redemption' story, it was only fitting Molan got the true feel of the storied rivalry.
The Channel 9 journalist even referred to the local derby as our own version of State of Origin, "country rugby league at its finest".
"Basically it is one side of Grafton against the other side of Grafton and for 80 minutes, we all hate each other," Wicks said.
"You carry the bragging rights through for the next six to eight weeks until we meet again."