The NSW Blues have been named for the first game of the 2017 #Origin series.
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Marshall Chalk is set to step into the fullback role for the absent Clinton Schifcofske this weekend, and is confident of a good performance against the Eels at Canberra Stadium on Saturday night.
Chalk has been a revelation for the Raiders since moving to the back row this season, and has found himself in the thick of the action for the Raiders forwards.
But after several seasons playing fullback in Premier League Chalk gets a chance to play this role in first grade on Saturday, due to Schifcofske?s selection for Queensland for the state of origin decider in Melbourne next week.
Chalk said he is ready to move back behind the defensive line, and is ready to prove his worth in the fullback position.
?Lately my role has been as a utility and hopefully this week I can prove how valuable I am, it?s a different position but one I am familiar with and hopefully I?ll play well,? Chalk said. ?I?ve played a lot of footy there over the past six or seven years so it shouldn?t be hard to fall back into the role.?
Raiders Coach Matt Elliott said Chalk?s proven record at the back for the Raiders lower grades gives him enough assurance that he will be up to the task on Saturday night, while his team mates seem to have full confidence in Chalk?s recent form.
?He?s an outstanding player in that position and he?s been doing a great job for us in the back row as well, but I think he will do a great job for us at fullback this week,? he said. ?I went to substitute him on the weekend and Jason Croker said don?t you dare, so I think that?s a fairly good wrap on a player.?
Elliott has also named Craig Frawley on the wing this weekend to cover for the missing Adam Mogg, with David Howell moving back into the centre position.
Simon Woolford has been named on the bench and will be given until later in the week to prove his fitness, with injury clouds also surrounding Troy Thompson (hamstring) and Alan Tongue (hip).
CANBERRA RAIDERS V PARRAMATTA EELS CANBERRA STADIUM, SATURDAY JULY 1, 7.30pm
1. MARSHALL CHALK 2. ADRIAN PURTELL 3. PHIL GRAHAM 4. DAVID HOWELL 5. CRAIG FRAWLEY 6. JASON SMITH 7. TODD CARNEY 8. DANE TILSE 9. LINCOLN WITHERS 10. TROY THOMPSON 11. TOM LEAROYD-LAHRS 12. JASON CROKER (C) 13. ALAN TONGUE
INTERCHANGE 14. SIMON WOOLFORD 15. MICHAEL HODGSON 16. ALAN ROTHERY 17. MICHAEL WEYMAN 18. TERRY MARTIN 19. JASON WILLIAMS