A well balanced lifestyle outside the pressure of the NRL is helping Sean Keppie to become more of a mature player on the field.
The 23-year-old credits the joys of fatherhood, marriage, and his work in the disability sector as all playing a big part in his career to date.
Married to his childhood sweetheart Laura, the couple are raising a nine-month-old daughter, Callie, on the Northern Beaches.
The hard-working prop, who played his 50th NRL game in Manly’s win over the Wests Tigers at 4 Pines Park last Saturday, has come a long way since his NRL debut for the Sea Eagles against Parramatta in 2019.
I was a bit of a loose cannon coming through the gradesSean Keppie
“Being married to Laura and having a baby has been a big step for me.
"The work I do in the disability sector has been also been very rewarding. I just feel like I'm maturing more now and it all helps with my footy.”
In between his family life and his commitments with the Sea Eagles, Keppie is also very passionate about the many hours he spends volunteering for What Ability, Heroes with Ability, and the Sunnyfield Disability Services.
His tireless community work saw Manly nominate Keppie for the NRL's Ken Stephen Medal last season.
Keppie is also an Athlete Ambassador for What Ability Foundation, where he has linked up with his former Parramatta Eels U20s team-mate Steve Dresler, who fills the role as CEO.
“I’ve learnt so much about myself by working with these groups…things like not taking life for granted,’’ Keppie stated.
“The participants I see in the disability sector, they can’t do a lot of the stuff that we are doing, so it’s just about being grateful for what I have...to see every day as a blessing.”
As for playing 50 games, Keppie enjoyed the moment on Saturday in a match that saw him start at prop alongside experienced prop Josh Aloiai.
Keppie also has his sights set on becoming more of an enforcer in the Sea Eagles pack.
“It’s about being more consistent. It’s not so much about being aggressive but I want to become more of a dominant player at Manly,’’ Keppie added.
“I’m still young and feel like I’m learning more with each game played.
“It’s nice to have reached 50 games but the goal now is to get to 100 games, then 150, and then 200 games and so on.
“I love being here at Manly and I know I have plenty more to give them.”