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Fulfilling a life-long dream, Bulldogs forward Nick Kouparitsas will make his debut in the NRL this weekend against the Canberra Raiders at Telstra Stadium.
Kouparitsas, who played his junior football in Canberra for the West Belconnen Warriors, has spent the last 4 seasons completing his ?apprenticeship? to NRL football, playing Premier League with the Bulldogs, Magpies and Raiders.
When asked to describe the feeling and emotion of being selected to make his NRL debut, the 22 year old was animated and clearly excited saying he was pumped to be given the opportunity by coach Steve Folkes.
?I didn?t hear off the coaches about it (NRL selection) until yesterday. When I was told I was pumped!? Kouparitsas said.
When quizzed about anything that contributed to his rise up into the NRL, Kouparitsas was quick to acknowledge the club and coaches for assisting in the continuing development of his game.
?The club and coaching has been great,? Kouparitsas told League Unlimited
?Playing and training with internationals has been good too, to learn bits and pieces of their games, it?s helped a lot?
Kouparitsas was realistic about his appointment to the top grade at a club which boasts such a great forward pack, but was hopeful for a strong performance and make further claims for future call ups to first grade.
?If I can put in a good performance, than hopefully next time there?s an injury, the coaches will think of my name first.? Kouparitsas said.
Kouparitsas will join Billy Ngawini, Ben Czislowski and Dallas McIlwain in a completely new bench, with the Bulldogs losing Mason, Ryan, O'Meley and Myles to State of Origin.