Raiders lock Ryan Sutton is looking forward to seeing fellow Englishmen Harry Rushton make his first grade debut against the top of the table Penrith Panthers this Sunday afternoon.
Like Sutton, Rushton previously played for the Wigan Warriors before signing with the Raiders in the lead up to the 2021 season.
Rushton has been one of the best players for the Raiders NSW Cup side this season. Averaging 122 running metres a game, Rushton also has three tries across his first five appearances this year.
Sutton has been impressed with what he has seen of Rushton so far this season.
“I'm really looking forward to him getting a chance to play and see what he can do because he’s been knocking on the door for a few weeks now,” Sutton said.
“What Harry has done in NSW Cup is put in really good performances week in and week out. He's come through the ranks at Wigan and he’s a tough kid, he knows what needs to be done.”
Rushton has proven to be a very skillful player with ball in hand both in the middle as a lock or on the edge as a second-rower. Sutton is looking forward to seeing Rushton bring these skills and his confidence to the NRL.
"He’s really good Harry and really good with the ball in hand, he’s a skillful player," Sutton said.
"He’s a confidence player as well and even though he’s young he is very confident in what he does and he’s been showing that in NSW Cup.”
Sutton meanwhile will make his third appearance of the season and has relished his time back in first grade playing in the middle with Joseph Tapine and Josh Papalii.
"I love playing with Tapine, he’s one of those players you know you can concentrate on your job because he’s doing his job," Sutton said.
"He’s a real fiery player and he’s the kind of player you wanna get on the back of when he’s taking a carry or in defence.
“He’s just a menace so he is a great player you wanna play with and Papalii is the same."
It will be the ultimate test for the Raiders on Sunday as they take on the Panthers, who currently sit on top of the ladder with an undefeated start to the 2022 NRL season.
Sutton is excited about the challenge of the Panthers forward pack and knows that they will need to put in an 80 minute performance this weekend.
“We just got to fight fire with fire, the Panthers are the pinnacle of this comp at the minute and we’ve got to make sure we match them from minute one all the way through to minute 80," Sutton said.
“The first couple rounds we’ve been really good for 40 minutes but we've not yet put an 80 minute performance together.
“We've got a really tough game going into the Panthers especially at their home ground as well so we can’t make the same mistakes more than once."