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.
A string of losses in recent weeks has done little to stop Knights? Coach David Fairleigh from remaining positive about the club?s Premier League campaign, despite the club?s decision not to renew Fairleigh?s contract beyond this season.
NORTH Queensland's Jacob Lillyman has been called up to replace injured lock Tonie Carroll in the Queensland team for next Wednesday's second State Of Origin rugby league match in Brisbane.
NSW captain Danny Buderus is shocked Queensland overlooked "an abundance of great fullbacks" to select Canberra bolter Adam Mogg for next week's State of Origin II at Suncorp Stadium.
IT will be a busy night for the NRL judiciary, with Melbourne fullback Billy Slater and New Zealand Warriors prop Ruben Wiki contesting charges.
FRIDAY, 9th June 2006
SQUAD: Billy Slater, Chris Walker, Jake Webster, Matt Geyer, Steve Turner, Scott Hill, Cooper Cronk, Garret Crossman, Nathan Friend, Brett White, David Kidwell, Ryan Hoffman, Jeremy Smith
Interchange: Ian Donnelly, Ben Cross, Antonio Kaufusi, Jamie Feeney.
SQUAD: Matthew Bowen, Brenton Bowen, Josh Hannay, Paul Bowman, Matthew Sing, Shane Muspratt, Brett Firman, Mitchell Sargent, Aaron Payne, Shane Tronc, Justin Smith, Jacob Lillyman, Travis Norton (c)
Interchange: Rod Jensen, David Faiumu, Gavin Cooper, Matthew Scott
THE St George Illawarra Dragons have announced their lower grades sides for Saturday's round 14 fixtures in Penrith.Premier LeagueDragons v Cougars3:30pm Saturday 10 JuneCUA StadiumCoach: Steven Price 1. Josh MORRIS2. Bryson GOODWIN3. Jess CAINE4. Keith LULIA5. Dane KERSHAW6. Reece BLAYNEY7. Jamie KEITH8. Andrew PRICE9. George NDAIRA10. Chris HOUSTON (c)11. Tom HABERECHT12. Lee TE MAARI13. Aaron WHEATLEY14. Jamie DUNNING15. Willie TUPOU16. Beau MUNDINE17. Lagi SETU18. James JIMENEZJersey FleggDragons v Panthers2:00pm Saturday 10 JuneCUA StadiumCoach: Corey Pearson1. Jason NIGHTINGALE2. Ian CATANIA3. Ryan MILLARD4. James GREHAN5. Junior SEUMANUTAFA6. Richard WILLIAMS7. Blake DUREAU8. Dan HUNT9. Brad DAVIDSON (c)10. Chris FARRELL11. Matt PRIOR12. Jason WHITE13. James KEELAN14. Francis LANGIFISI15. Daniel JARVIS16. Matt SEAMARK17. Scott SABLOWSKI18. Luke MUTTDON19. Dean WHARE20. Daniel NICASTRI
CANBERRA'S Adam Mogg is a surprise draftee into the Queensland side to replace injured winger Greg Inglis in State of Origin two.
REPRESENTATIVE Prop Jason Ryles will return from injury to strengthen the Dragons as they take on the Panthers at CUA Stadium this Saturday.
SQUAD: Shannon McDonnell, Taniela Tuiaki, Dene Collis, Shane Elford, Michael Crockett, Benji Marshall, Scott Prince (c), Ryan O'Hara, Robbie Farah, John Skandalis, Anthony Laffranchi, Todd Payten, Jamaal Lolesi
Interchange: Stuart Flanagan, Chris Heighington, Bryce Gibbs, Ben Galea
SQUAD: David Simmons, Darren Albert, Nigel Vagana, Phil Bailey, Luke Covell, Brett Kearney, Brett Kimmorley, James Stosic, Kevin Kingston, Luke Douglas, Lance Thompson, Greg Bird, Paul Gallen
Interchange: Hutch Maiava, Matt Hilder, Reece Williams, Beau Scott, Luke Harlen
SQUAD: Darius Boyd, Tame Tupou, Greg Eastwood, Casey McGuire, Leon Bott, Brett Seymour, Shane Perry, David Stagg, Corey Parker, Dane Carlaw, Brad Thorn, Ian Lacey, Shane Webcke (c)
Interchange: Dave Taylor, Ben Hannant, Neville Costigan, Joel Moon
SQUAD: Brent Webb, Patrick Ah Van, Tony Martin, Simon Mannering, Manu Vatuvei, Jerome Ropati, Grant Rovelli, Ruben Wiki (c), Nathan Fien, Evarn Tuimavave, Awen Guttenbiel, Louis Anderson, Sione Faumuina
Interchange:Sam Rapira, Wairangi Koopu, Michael Lick, Lance Hohaia, Clinton Toopi