NEWCASTLE winger Nathan Ross is desperate to take his final chance to become just the fourth Newcastle Knightto who have played for City Origin.
READY: Nathan Ross has made City selection, signified with the initials ‘CC’ written on his wrist, a goal in 2017.
And a source has told the Herald,the 28-year-old is in the mix to make the team for the May 7 match at Mudgee.
Canterbury have told the NRL their players will not be available for the game, which has been declared the last in the concept.
Ross, though, was determined to feature for City. Tony Butterfield, Jamie Ainscough and Adam Cuthbertsonare those who havegained City selection while playing for Newcastle.
“For me it would be a massive honour to be able to represent this club and represent City in the final showdown,” Ross said ahead of Newcastle’s away clash with Gold Coast on Saturday.
“From the beginning of pre-season it’s been one of my goals. My first goal was to play in the round one team, and I’ve accomplished that, and now it’s to play for City.
“I know back in the day it was more seen as a trial for Origin, but to play representative football at any chance, it should be a goal of everyplayer in the competition.
“I’ve just got to keep my work-rate up and finish off those tries and hopefully have another good showing this weekend, and I might get a call from Freddy [City coach Brad Fittler].”
Ross, who played juniors withBurleigh BearsandCoogee Randwick Wombats,has scored six tries in seven games this season to push his claims for a first representative appearance.
Helping his cause is the absence of incumbent City wingers Aaron Gray (Rabbitohs) and Josh Mansour (Panthers) because of injury.
While Canterbury have shunned the fixture in the interest of their players’ welfare, Ross said gaining selection would be a boost for him and his club.
“Apart from Dane [Gagai], we haven’t had too many players in the representative footballof late and it’s something I’d like to do,” he said.
“I think if you get picked in these representative teams, it shows that you are putting your team first. It shows you are playing good football week in, week out.It shows you are doing a good job for your club.”
Ross’ last chance to impress selectors will be against the only team Newcastle have beaten this year.
However, he was not expecting an easy time against the Titans, who upset Cronulla on Saturday night 16-12 and went down 24-22 to Brisbane a week earlier.
“The only thing I can take away from the round two win is how much respect I actually have for the Gold Coast Titans,” Ross said.
“They’ve been ravaged with injuries this year and they’ve got players like Jarrod Wallace and Anthony Don who keep leading them forward. Ryan James, their captain, has been phenomenal, so I think they are a team of unsung heroes.”