Brett White returns from injury for Mounties/Wyong trial
Friday 15 February 2013 11:36 AM
Inspirational prop Brett White will make his long awaited return to Rugby League in this Saturday’s trial against NSW Cup sides Mounties and Wyong.
White hasn’t played in nine months since tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee in round five last year against the North Queensland Cowboys.
Coach David Furner has named White for the trial on Saturday night (February 16) at Cook Park in Mount Pritchard as is eagerly anticipating the representative front rower’s return.
“I’m very pleased to have Whitey back in the team and I think it’s great for Whitey personally too as it’s been a long time for him,” said Furner.
“A lot’s been said about Campo’s comeback but Brett White is enormous for our forwards not only on the field but off the field.
“Having someone like that coming back into the squad is great for the team. I’m happy for Whitey and I’m looking for about 15-20 minutes from him. I know that he’s pretty excited.”
The return of White bolsters the Raiders already impressive front row stocks. Ironically it was White who played a leading role in several of the young front rower’s development such as Shannon Boyd last year.
Working under Coach Andrew Dunemann, White mentored the side’s talented young forwards and proved to be a wonderful aid in the development of the club’s up and coming stars.
“Up front there’s a lot of competition for spots,” said Furner.
“We’ve got Tommy Learoyd-Lahrs coming back for his first game and I was really impressed with Dane Tisle, Mark Nicholls and Sam Mataora last week as well as some of our younger front rowers in Paul Vaughan and Boydie [Shannon Boyd].”
One player who is welcoming the return of White is fellow bookend and Vice-Captain David Shillington.
“I’m really happy to see Whitey back on the field,” said Shillington.
“Everybody knows how much of a great player he is and his leadership is inspirational on and off the field.
“He really applied himself in a professional manner throughout his rehab and I can’t wait to get out there and play with him again.”
Furner has named a 33 man squad for the trial against Mounties and Wyong with All Stars representatives Joel Thompson and Jack Wighton rested due to some minor niggling injuries.
Shaun Fensom will also be assessed on game day after slightly straining his bicep at training yesterday.
Furner and the club’s medical staff are not worried by the trio and has no hesitation in resting Fensom if need be.
“We have got a couple of guys there that are out and still carrying some niggling injuries from the All Stars game in Joel Thompson and Jack Wighton that won’t be playing.
“Shaun Fensom is still struggling a little bit at the moment with a bicep strain so I won’t risk him playing. We’re going to assess him later on but I don’t want to go into a situation where it could worsen.”
Whilst Furner isn’t fazed about going into the trial missing the talented trio, he is adamant that the side will be treating the trial as if they were competing for competition points in the NRL.
“This Saturday we’re looking at getting some consistency and we’re looking at getting our combinations right. We worked pretty hard on that the week before against Melbourne and we’ll look to improve on that again.
“Implementing our focus points from the pre-season into the trial is important for us. Regardless of the fact we’re coming up against NSW Cup sides we’ll be treating it as a normal NRL game because we need to get as much out of these trials as possible before round one.”
CANBERRA RAIDERS V WYONG/MOUNTIES
COOK PARK, MT PRITCHARD, SATURDAY FEBRUARY 16, 6.30PM