Aaron is one of the most recognisable faces in the NRL, with his big mane of hair and beard ensuring his cult-like figure status. A veteran of 18 Tests for the Kangaroos and 14 Origins for NSW.
Partner: Sarah Woods
Children: Buster (2yrs) & Coco (newborn)
Heros With Ability & RUN DIPG
Get to know Aaron
Aaron has been one of the best front row forwards in rugby league since his debut for the Wests Tigers a decade ago.
Since then, Aaron has spent time at the Bulldogs and the past four seasons at Cronulla, amassing more than 230 games in one of the world’s toughest competitions. He bases his game on a high work rate and has one of the best running games of any big man in the NRL.
Despite being off contract, Aaron is keen to go around again in 2022 and he has already attracted the interests of a few rival clubs.
However, Aaron’s biggest interest is his young family – with wife Sarah induced two weeks early recently to allow Aaron to be at the birth before heading into the NRL bubble in Queensland to finish this season.
“Life has completely changed….it’s very obviously not about me anymore,” Aaron said. “I prefer it that way to tell you the truth. My Dad wasn’t around when I was young and I want the opposite to be true for my kids.
“I used to be torture to be around on game day but have gotten better with experience and especially since Buster arrived. Sarah was laughing at me earlier this year because I spent a lot of the time leading up to a night game dancing with him! Every game day now I’m always around my family at home and I couldn’t think anything better.”
He actually delivered Coco which was very special. As a family we decided to induce Coco two weeks early so Aaron could enter the NRL bubble this year at very short notice. It was difficult because he left literally the morning after she was born, but as far as him at the births...very supportive, happy and excited!
QDo you find it hard spending time away from the kids during the season and what’s it like now during Covid and time of quarantine?
AI find it really difficult. Last year it was OK only being away 1-2 days max, but any longer tends to be great on me. It’s funny I used to laugh at the older boys talking about being away from family and how hard it can be…now I am one of them.
QOn a normal game day, do you like to relax with the family or do you try to keep away?
AI used to be torture to be around on game day but have gotten better with experience and especially since Buster arrived. Sarah was laughing at me earlier this year because I spent a lot of the time leading up to a night game dancing with him! Every game day now I’m always around my family at home.
QTell us about those nappy changes and bath time …
AI don’t really mind nappy changes. Both of the kids are so happy in the bath and Buster loves the shower. He lies on the ground and asks everyone to come in. It’s a circus.
QWere you at the kids’ births? If so, what was that like?
AYes, both of them. When Buster was born I was holding up Sarah’s legs in the thick of things...it blew me away what she went through and how strong she was. I didn’t cry when he was born, was more excited and happy, taking selfies and carrying on.
Coco I actually helped deliver which was crazy. We both guessed we were having another boy so when she arrived it was a huge surprise and a dream come true. Her birth was a bit dramatic mainly because Sarah was induced two weeks early with very little notice. Sarah did that to enable me to enter the NRL hub in Queensland.
QI guess you've seen your partner in a whole new light?
AAbsolutely, I tell everyone. It brings you closer together – not that you weren’t close before, but things become even tighter. It’s incredible what they do.
QTell us about being a dad, how much do you enjoy it?
AIt’s the best ever, words can’t properly describe it. Every day I message the Mrs to find out how the kids are going and ask for photos if I’m not there. They are my everything.
QWhat is your favourite activity with Buster?
APlaying footy in the lounge room or down at the park. He cheats but I love that he loves it so I let him get away with it.
QAny memorable moments with him?
AThe first time we won after he was born was against the Cowboys in 2019. I remember it like it was yesterday. This year he got interviewed by Emma Lawrence for Channel Nine after Coco was born. She asked how he felt I went in a game and he absolutely gibbered the response!
QDoes he come to your games and how does that make you feel?
AIt’s the best ever. Last year during COVID he wasn’t allowed on the field for a while and I was off it (same as this year). Every game I want him there with me.
QWhat sports or activities does he play?
AHe does Little Strikers. COVID has stopped that for now, so we just play knee footy in the lounge room. He also copies me doing PT sessions in the backyard!
QWhen the season ends, and hopefully Covid restrictions stop, where would you like to take the family on a holiday?
AWe go to Peppers Salt Resort at Kingscliff. It’s an unbelievable spot and perfect for families – everything you need is there. Call and ask for Dave Robertson (General Manager) if you’re thinking of going, he’s an absolute gun and will look after you!
Now lets ask Sarah and the kids some questions...
QHi Sarah, what's is his best asset as a father?
AHe’s very hands-on, involved in changing nappies and everything else that comes with being a dad ... the good, bad and ugly!
QTell us something about Aaron that we don’t know about him?
AHe actually does all the washing in our house. Everything goes in together so the whites don’t always come out as white as they should be, but I’m not complaining! He doesn’t cook but doesn’t mind whatever I put together which is great. He’s not superstitious at all, but hates change and is very set in his ways...in a good way!
QAnd Buster, what makes your dad so great and what's your favourite sport?
AMy dads great because he plays tackle footy with me! and I love footy
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