Barber by trade, winger come weekends.
Harry van Dartel wouldn’t have it any other way as Souths prepare for the Newcastle Rugby League grand final on Sunday, even if there’s been a few haircuts given out to Lions teammates this week.
“I love it. I’ve just cut a few of them [Souths players] actually,” van Dartel told the Newcastle Herald on Wednesday afternoon.
“A GF cut. Aerodynamic. Just stock standard really – short back and sides.”
The 20-year-old may design haircuts for others at Wallsend, where he started working in February, but his own remains covered by a distinct black headgear when playing out in the middle.
“The majority of my career I have [worn headgear],” van Dartel said.
“My old man has always put a big emphasis on safety and he’s happy when I wear it. And I feel more confident and safer in it, even if it doesn’t actually do much.
“There [normally] comes a time in most games when it comes off, but I think last week was the first time It actually stayed on the whole game.”
Van dartel was referring to Souths’ major semi-final win over upcoming opponents Lakes at Cahill Oval less than a fortnight ago.
There’s a good chance the former Canberra Raiders under-20 representative probably didn’t address his attire because he was too busy running the ball back.
Twenty-one hit-ups in all, he was told by Souths statisticians afterwards, and a powerful one in particular against Fijian international Junior Roqica as van Dartel made a last minute shift to the centres.
“When I was at Canberra [for two years] what they said they liked about me was my kick returns in that regard,” van Dartel said.
“I guess that’s something I’ve always tried to do, make at least 10 metres per carry. It was the first time I’d played centre so it was a new experience for me.”
Van Dartel expects to move back to the wing and partner up again with Tom Cronan on the right edge, where they will mark Lakes pair Jacob Gagai and Canterbury-bound Toa Mata’Afa.
“We will need to try and keep them under wraps, which is obviously a big job,” he said.
In the grandstand at McDonald Jones Stadium, van Dartel will welcome his parents from hometown Dubbo, relatives from Bathurst and his older brothers from Sydney and Woolongong.
“It will good to have them all there watching,” he said.
Van Dartel, now living in Waratah, moved to Newcastle in November and did pre-season with the Knights before playing three NSW Cup fixtures earlier in the year.
He has played 16 times for Souths in 2018 and scored 12 tries.