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Starling ready to continue successful partnership with Elliott against Sharks

Tom Starling is relishing his new dummy half partnership with Adam Elliott, as the pair look to continue their good form against the Cronulla Sharks in Brisbane this weekend.   

Following the injury to Josh Hodgson earlier this season the team has been on the hunt for a replacement to partner Starling, with Elliott a surprise selection at hooker two weekends ago against the Warriors.

Since then the new recruit has looked to cement his claim on the role, with Starling moving to the bench and coming on midway through the first half in the past two rounds.

The one-two punch of the duo has been clear for all to see, with both offering something different for the team.

Starling is all praise for his new partner, applauding his performances over the past fortnight.

“He is going good, he is always energetic with everything he does, it's always 100 miles an hour. He is going well playing his role in the team, which is what we ask for around here. I am enjoying playing with him,” Starling said.

“He is that utility at the moment, where he can play through the middle and back row. He is a vital part of the side.”

Speaking on what the change means for himself, Starling believes that it allows him to play to his strengths, providing him with the opportunity to change the complexion of a match against tired opposition.

“Stick has identified that Adam will start the game there and let me come on and play my natural role and bring a spark onto the field,” Starling said.

“I can play the rest of the game out there and towards the end of the match when I’ve got a little bit more energy in me, I can still provide for the team.”

Starling is happy to play any role that coach Ricky Stuart asks of him, whether that be starting at hooker or being an impact player off the bench.

The dummy half is happy to contribute to the team is any way that he possibly can, whatever jersey number that requires him to wear. 

“It is just a different role. When I come off the bench, I know that I can go one hundred miles an hour and bounce around and do what I need to do,” Starling said.

"Whatever Stick wants me to do, it can change every week. Whatever they need me to do or whatever the team needs me to do is what I’m prepared to do.”

The pair will again share the duties this weekend against the Sharks, with Starling assigned the 14 jersey for the clash on Sunday afternoon.

Looking ahead to the Cronulla match, Starling is excited and prepared for the game knowing that the opposition may be a bit different to the one that the side came up against in round one.

“Cronulla are flying high at the moment, it is a big task this weekend," Starling said.

"They were a fairly new combination together at the start of the year, they have had a few changes.

“They are definitely building nicely together. Their spine has gelled a little bit, so it is up to us to stop them.”

Acknowledgement of Country

Canberra Raiders respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.