“It’s why I didn’t even look at the Broncos” Lachlan. Maaate.How the Dragons signed Lachlan Maranta off Korbin Sims’s couch
Last November Maranta was visiting the St George Illawarra recruit in Wollongong after the end of the Super Rugby season with the Queensland Reds.
He had spent the previous four months training and searching for a new chance after leaving the Reds.
Maranta considered European rugby union but he always wanted to return to league where he made his debut with Brisbane in 2012.
“It all happened pretty randomly,” Maranta told The Sunday Telegraph
“Korbin had a catch-up with Mary McGregor, who mentioned the Dragons were still looking for an outside back.
Sims and Maranta live together. Picture by Dylan Robinson.
“Korbin said, ‘well I’ve got one sitting on my couch at home’.
“Then two days later I was having coffee with Mary and it went from there. Korbin has always wanted to play alongside me, because we missed out by one year at the Broncos.
“So he pushed pretty hard for me when he spoke to McGregor.
“It was just one of those meet and greets but then it progressed and I started thinking about it more seriously.”
A fortnight later, Maranta was on Stradbroke Island when the Dragons’ one-year offer came through on a Friday night.
“I was then on a plane to Wollongong via Sydney on the Sunday,” he said.
“When you get an opportunity like that you’d be pretty stupid to pass it up.
“And with the Dragons being such a proud club, it was a no-brainer.
“I’d played league my whole life, so it has always been in my genes to want to push and challenge myself in league again.
Maranta has spent the last two seasons in rugby union. Picture by Dylan Robinson.
“Plus, I was looking to get out of Brisbane given I’d played and lived there my whole life.
“It’s why I didn’t even look at the Broncos. I’d had my time there and I was ready to take that step and leave home.”
Maranta is now living with his former Brisbane housemate Sims in the suburb of Unanderra – 10km southwest of Wollongong.
He is enjoying his return to league and has no regrets about his two-year rugby union stint with the Queensland Reds.
Maranta only played three games for the Reds while former Wallaby Greg Martin labelled him their worst signing.
“But still I’m grateful for the chances I received in rugby,” he said.
“There were some comments made early on but you’ll have negative and positive things said about you for the rest of your life.
“So I didn’t let it get to me too much.
Maranta spent several seasons in first grade with Brisbane. Photo by Mark Nolan/Getty Images.
“I was lucky enough to make my rugby debut over in Buenos Aires, which was a bit of a change.
“To fly over to Argentina was a pretty exciting thing and now I’m excited to come to the Dragons and take the opportunity.”
Maranta could be a key signing for the Dragons after the departures of Kurt Mann and Nene Macdonald to Newcastle and North Queensland respectively.
But the former Bronco is taking nothing for granted in his comeback to rugby league.
“The Dragons have taken a leap of faith on me and I need to repay them by the way I train and play,” he said.
“It is just the way it worked out and at this point I’m really happy with my decision.
“I’m also happy at training and hopefully it transpires to the field.”