Jets to make feathers fly
AN EXCITING mix of youth and experience shapes the Ipswich Jets team that will battle NRL grand finalists the Sydney Roosters on Saturday night.
The Roosters arrive in the city tonight ahead of a four-day stay, which culminates in a trial match against the Jets at North Ipswich Reserve. More than 1000 tickets have already been sold for the match.
Young Fijian-Indian flyer Trivendra (Chris) Naidu, 20, is the bolter in the team, stealing a spot on the wing.
There are several players with niggling injuries who have missed out, including Ian Lacey, Keiron Lander, Trevor Exton and Matty McPhee.
One member of the halves pairing of Todd Riggs and Brendan Lindsay will have to make way when Lacey returns, with the next month of trial matches to determine who the best pivot is out of the pair.
Ex-Jets and North Queensland Cowboys centre Donald Malone will start in the green jersey for the first time since 2008, while forward Lorenzo Maafu returns from a drug suspension.
The Jets will face up to a star-studded Roosters outfit featuring the likes of Anthony Minichello, Daniel Conn and Anthony Cherrington.
Norths Tigers junior Martin Kennedy will travel with the squad for their four-day tour as will Dally M winner Todd Carney.
However, Goodna and Fassifern juniors Lama Tasi and Tom Guymer will face the Jets.
Jets co-coach Ben Walker said his squad was itching to get on the paddock with players keen to test themselves against NRL quality.
“They're like young colts bucking at the chance to get a run,” Walker said of his players.
“The intensity at training has picked up a lot during the past two weeks. The guys have taken it to another level.”
Walker said Naidu deserved his chance after leading the Colts in try-scoring last season.
The Roosters will hold an autograph-signing session on Friday from 4.45pm before an open training run.