Moses to debut in centres
THE Ipswich Jets hope man mountain Moses Manu will become another Mal Meninga when he debuts at centre in tonight’s trial against the Gold Coast Titans U20s.
The 193cm, 110kg former prop will arguably be rugby league’s biggest outside back and Jets coach Glenn Lazarus said he would cause havoc against the young Titans at the Briggs Road Sporting Complex.
“He’s our answer to Mal Meninga, but he’s probably bigger than Mal,” Lazarus said.
“He’s not a boofhead prop. He’s got beautiful hands and he’s just as fast as our other outside backs.”
Manu, a former gridiron star for American college Kansas State University, has been training at centre for the past month.
Lazarus said he would be used in a similar vein to how the Broncos played NRL star Dave Taylor late last season.
“During the season he may revert back to the forwards for some games, but even then he will be roaming out wide just like Taylor did for the Broncos,” Lazarus said.
When Titans coach John Cartwright visited the Ipswich Jets on Monday, Lazarus mentioned Manu as one to watch.
“He’s a long way off the NRL but Cartwright will be keeping an eye on him and later this year you never know, but he’s not at that level yet,” Lazarus said.
The Jets vs Titans game begins at 5.30pm. It will be followed at 7.30pm by the Titans senior players facing a Broncos side that includes Lagi Setu, Ben Te’o and young star Alex Glenn.
The Titans side features several Jets players – Jacob Ling, AJ Gilbert, Marshall Chalk and Warren Schillings alongside NRL regulars Sam Tagataese and Matthew White.
Manu said tonight’s trial would show him how well he had adapted to centre.
Riverview-based Setu was stoked to play a game in his home city.
“The boys have been joking all week that half the crowd will be made up of my family,” Setu said.
“I haven’t played in Ipswich since I was 13 so I’m heaps excited.”
Ian Lacey and Danny Coburn will not play for the Jets tonight as Lazarus looks to give his untried players a chance to impress.
The Queensland Cup season kicks off on March 13 when the Jets face Easts Tigers.
TONIGHT’S teams at RACEVIEW
Ipswich Jets v Gold Coast Titans U20’s, Briggs Rd, 5.30pm
Jets: Luke Walker, James Furminger, Brendon Marshall, Moses Manu, Jarrod McInally, Todd Riggs (C), Paul Mennell, Ryan Barton, Michael Fisher, Taikaha Brown, Cameron Woo, Tyson Lofipo, Villi Fainga’a. Interchange: Adam Boettcher, Ramone Fillipine, Diego Coydre, Smith Samau, Callum Waldrum, Kieron Lander.
Gold Coast Titans U20’s: TBA.
Gold Coast Titans vs Brisbane Broncos, Briggs Rd, 7.30pm
Titans: Shannon Walker, Joseph Tomane, Sam Tagataese, Clinton Toopi, Jordan Atkins, Jamie Dowling, Jordan Rankin, Matthew White, Riley Brown, Selasi Berdie, Bodene Thompson, Will Matthews, Ryan Simpkins, Ryan James, Dominic Walsh, Ronnie Alovili, Marshall Chalk, Ben Ridge, Warren Schillings, AJ Gilbert, Jacob Ling.
Broncos: Todd Murphy, Tyson Brookes, Josh Williams, Alex Glenn, Dane Gagai, Jordan Kahu, Louis Frisby, Ben Faulkner, Tennyson Elliott, Josh McGuire, Ben Te’o, Lagi Setu, Matt Gillett. Interchange: James Ackerman, Ryan Hansen, Nathaniel Peteru, Korbin Sims, Mitchell Frei, Lachlan Maranta, Chris Binge, Benn Malley, Aaron Whitchurch.