CAPTAIN’S CALL: New Ipswich Jets skipper Dane Phillips meets with Norths counterpart Billy Brittain at yesterday’s season launch.
CAPTAIN’S CALL: New Ipswich Jets skipper Dane Phillips meets with Norths counterpart Billy Brittain at yesterday’s season launch.

Rival captain expects 'benchmark' Jets to test his players

NORTHS captain Billy Brittain expects his men to be run off their feet when they line up against the Ipswich Jets at North Ipswich on Saturday.

Brittain, who has been named at lock but will also likely play in his customary hooking position during the clash, said playing the Jets was a unique experience but one he was keen to embrace.

"Ipswich went all the way last year and there were a number of reasons for that," Brittain told the QT at the Intrust Super Cup launch today.

"They play a different type of footy.

"To put one word on what it is like to play against them ... 'tiring'.

"They keep the ball off you for so long.

"A normal set of six might go for a minute or so, but when they have the ball it can go for two or two and a half.

"You are not doing much defensively but you are moving around a fair bit.

"When you get the ball back you are gassed.

"It is hard to defend against."

Brittain conceded that getting the points today would be "a great challenge"

"They are the defending premiers and the national champions," he said.

"They are the benchmark.

"But we have done the work in the pre-season and we have had a couple of good trials.

"It is time to let our footy do the talking and hopefully we can get the result.

"I will be playing a little bit at hooker but I have got 13 on my back.

"We've got Jayden Berrell coming back from the Broncos and he is an ex-Junior Kangaroo and he will give us a little bit out of hooker too."

Brittain has an interesting story himself.

He was in the Melbourne Storm system, but his heritage suggested he should have been an AFL star.

"My dad Craig played for North Melbourne and was at the Brisbane Lions for 10 years doing some coaching there," he said.

"My uncle Wayne (Brittain) coached Carlton and all the sons in the family have gone to AFL, so I have been a bit of a black sheep in the family and took my path with rugby league."

Brittain had two years in the 20s, trained full-time last year and relished being mentored by the great Cameron Smith.



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