Trans-Tasman pride goes on the line in Friday night’s Rugby League International on the Gold Coast.
The Kangaroos and Kiwis clash in what may be the last time for some of Australia’s greatest players.
Samantha Seljak reports.
Friday night’s test match is the Captain Darren Lockyer’s swan song for Australia and it could also be the last time team mate Petero Civoniceva pulls on the green and gold.
Petero Civoniceva, Kangaroos Forward: “Yeah I could definitely see it going that way. For the moment they body’s feeling good and I’m happy to continue to play on.”
That’s good news ahead of the match – Civoniceva looking forward to taking on a full strength New Zealand side.
The Kiwi’s hold the upper hand, having won the last trans-Tasman battle.
Petero Civoniceva, Kangaroos Forward: “I think we’re all hurting from last year’s loss. It’s a great Kiwi outfit when you look at the calibre of players they’ve been able to lead out. It’s a testament to their squad.”
Jonathon Thurston feels the same.
Jonathon Thurston, Kangaroos Back: “I believe the Kiwis are the number one test nation.”
Thurston makes his return to the Australian line-up, after two years on the sideline.
Jonathon Thurston, Kangaroos Back: “It was pure excitement. I’m glad to be back on the team but I know I need to perform to hold my spot.”
While Petero Civoniceva hints at retirement, one Titans’ player will swap the sun and surf for a much colder climate at the end of this season.
Anthony Laffranchi has signed a two-year deal with the UK Super League team St Helens.
Anthony Laffranchi, Titans Back: “While it’s my career over there for the short term, I’m really looking forward to the long term prospect of coming back and working for this great club.”
The loss of Laffranchi means the Titans will nurture their younger players.
Michael Searle, Titans Managing Director: “We’ve got some good young kids coming through we’ve got to look after.”
For the moment though, the Titans’ attention will be focused on their next round match against the Broncos.
Samantha Seljak, QUT News.