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Schiller reaping rewards from Timoko combination as he finds home on wing

After training all pre-season in the centres, as well as starting the season there in NSW Cup, James Schiller was pretty settled in the centre position.

But when winger Albert Hopoate suffered burns to his arms after a freak cooking accident, Schiller was called into the NRL team to replace Hopoate on the wing against the Sharks.

Schiller said that playing some games on the wing last year has helped him make the transition quickly and is just happy to be in the team.

“I had to dust some cobwebs off because I went from centre in Cup and in the trials and pre-season to playing wing but I played it all last year so it was just dusting cobwebs off and re-triggering that muscle memory,” Schiller said.

“I could be selfish and hope that I’m playing centre but I’m in a really good position for the team at the moment and I’m just happy to be there.

 “I’m picked in that spot for a reason so they [coaches] obviously have trust in me and my abilities there and I’ve just got to take confidence away from that and play at my best.”

Schiller has scored three tries in his last two games and has been in great form, but he credits the work of his teammates outside him for his performances.

“I’m playing off the back of really good backline shape, with Timoko and Jamal inside me there and we’ve had some good second rowers in Hosking, Ata and Elliott,” Schiller said.

“I’m really just cleaning up the scraps off the back of their really good work, I haven’t done too much of my own solo stuff so I’ve got to give them all the credit on that end.

“I’ve just got to keep showing up because whatever we’re doing is working and I’ve got to have that trust in Mokes and Jamal to do all that inside work to put me over in the corner or wherever I am.”

While only a couple of games in, Schiller’s combination with Timoko has been special to watch, with Schiller full of praise for the Kiwi International.

“Unreal, he’s got me a couple of tries already,” Schiller laughed.

“I’ve formed a really good combination there with Mokes, where I just sort of know the vibe of the play and I sort of base it off that and what’s ahead of us.

“The good thing about Mokes is that he just nails the simple things before he tries any of the fancy stuff so that’s always good to have that reassurance.

"I don’t have to worry about messing my job up because I know he’s going to get his done first and all I have to do is play off the back of it.”

Their combination will continue this weekend, when the Raiders take on the Gold Coast Titans this Sunday afternoon at home.

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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.