Frustration is feeding Hawke's Bay's world champion New Zealand under-20 rugby prop Tim Farrell.
"I can't stand watching. I want to be out on the field with the Magpies ... rugby keeps me out of trouble," Farrell said.
The Napier Technical club player had surgery for his broken cheek bone and eye socket on August 9 and will be out action for another fortnight at least. However, that frustration was shoved to the back of Farrell's mind at the weekend when he received the Graeme Lowe Award for the Hawke's Bay Rugby Academy Player of the Year at the pre-match function for the Magpies Mitre 10 Cup match against the Southland Stags.
"I was pretty pleased and I only found out about it on Thursday last week," Farrell said after the Magpies' training yesterday.
"I'm privileged. There was a lot of competition for the award with all the good Hastings Boys' High School players going through the academy this year," Farrell explained.
Previous winners of the award are: 2006 Bryn Evans, 2007 Israel Dagg, 2008 Zac Guildford, 2009 Richard Buckman, 2010 Ihaia West, 2011 Brodie Retallick, 2012 Brendon Edmonds, 2013 Jason Long, 2014 Geoff Cridge, 2015 Hugh Renton and 2016 Pouri Rakete-Stones.
Four of these players, Evans, Dagg, Guildford and Retallick, went on to become All Blacks and only two, Long and Rakete-Stones, have yet to gain Super Rugby selection. The award is named after former union patron Graeme Lowe who died in 2012. He had sponsored the union for more than 30 years.
A Napier Boys' High School product and 2016 New Zealand Secondary Schools rep, Farrell, 19, said a Super Rugby squad berth is on his list of goals.
"It's part of the pathway me and dad [former Magpies prop John Farrell] have set for myself. But making the Baby Blacks again next year is the first major goal.
"I want to redeem myself for being sent home with my ankle injury this year. There's a camp in November ... hopefully I get pulled into that one," Farrell said.
"I've had my three injury spells for the year so that should be it," Farrell quipped referring to his ankle injury and a rest period for concussion before his latest injury spell.
The outstanding work ethic which saw him receive the award at the weekend has worked in his favour as he has recovered from his injuries as well as a bout of glandular fever during his NBHS Super 8 campaign last year.
"Luke [Magpies fitness trainer Stephenson] has been putting me through my paces. I'll come back fitter this time than from my previous spells. I want to work my way back ... there are some big boys in the Magpies' front row and I've got a lot of work to do to push for a spot in the playing 23."
Another of his goals is to put some more weight on his 1.90m tall frame.
"I'm 115kgs now but I want to be 120kgs so I can throw my weight around like Ben May," he said referring to the Magpies' most experienced prop.
Earlier this year Farrell was studying in Wellington but he will look at taking on a Hawke's Bay-based trade in the near future.
"It's better to be here in the Bay close to all the training facilities and coaches rather than in a university environment trying to do both or correspondence."
Magpies and Baby Blacks head coach Craig Philpott admitted Farrell had tracked faster than expected.
"We selected him for the New Zealand under-20s camp in March thinking he would be a good project for the following year but he did so well we picked him for the Oceania Cup and he impressed so much there we picked him for the World Championship. Barring his injury Tim would have featured at the business end of the tournament."
Philpott pointed out Farrell will relish being in the Magpies' environment and learning from the likes of Maori All Black and Hurricanes prop May, new Magpies scrum coach and former Maori All Black and Highlander Brendon Edmonds and Maori All Blacks captain Ash Dixon.
Philpott had some good news on the Magpies' injury list. Winger Mason Emerson's ankle sprain isn't as bad as first feared and he is expected to be available to play within three weeks.
New Hurricanes No 8 Gareth Evans' chances of playing against Bay of Plenty on Friday night in the wake of his thigh injury collected against the Stags at the weekend are considered 50-50. Former Hurricanes flanker Tony Lamborn is unlikely to require surgery on his dislocated shoulder and could resume playing within four to six weeks.
In Lamborn's absence Fa'alemiga Selesele will be in the Magpies 23 for Friday night's match against the Bay of Plenty Steamers in Rotorua and Hawke's Bay Saracens captain and flanker Ben Hamelink will train with the Magpies this week.