THE Ipswich Jets’ task of winning against Souths Logan tomorrow has been made tougher by the inclusion of Josh Papalii for the Magpies.
But Jets co-coach Shane Walker is not rueing the Canberra Raiders decision to make the former Test prop play for their feeder club while the NRL rests for a bye.
Walker welcomes the addition, for what it will do for his own players and what it says about the Queensland Cup competition.
“The boys are really looking forward to the challenge,” Walker said.
“I just think it’s great for the competition and it speaks volumes for the comp that the Raiders feel they can give him a quality hit-out.”
The Jets have handed a debut to 18-year-old Carlin Anderson, who replaces Tautalatasi Tasi on the wing.
Tasi was withdrawn from the Jets squad after signing a contract with the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs on Thursday evening.
Anderson follows a similar path to Tasi, graduating from Ipswich Grammar School, having represented Australian Schoolboys at rugby union.
“He’s a really gifted player,” Walker said.
“We’ll bring him along the same lines as Tasi.”
That means starting on the wing to learn the ropes.
“He’s just a genuine footballer,” Walker said of Anderson.
“He’s got the ability to read and set up play.”
His instructions before tomorrow’s game will be simple.
“Go and get a touch early,” Walker said.
“In the first or second set of six.
“If you get belted, well and good, you’re into the game.
“He doesn’t have to worry much about what he has to do.”
The Jets have made one other change from the team that beat Redcliffe last weekend, with Ray Schuster coming into the squad in place of Josh Seage, who has been rested after suffering concussion against the Dolphins.
Jets: 1 Javarn White, 2 Kurt Capewell, 3 Nemani Valekapa, 4 Brendon Marshall, 5 Carlin Anderson, 6 Josh Cleeland, 7 Dane Phillips, 8 Kurtis Lingwoodock, 9 Troy O’Sullivan, 10 Rod Griffin, 11 Ray Schuster, 12 Sam Martin, 13 Keiron Lander (c), 14 Tariki Peneha, 17 Marmin Barba, 19 Wes Conlon, 22 Matt Parcell.