Ale's fight for first grade spot - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Ale's fight for first grade spot

By Chris Wilson and Daniel Pace 04/11/2004 05:11:28 PM Comments (0)

Dynamic teenager Jermaine Ale has arrived in Canberra but he will have to wait a few weeks before launching his fight for a spot in the NRL team's backline.

Ale, 19, had surgery on his right thumb on Monday and will be in plaster for one week before having a fibreglass cast fitted for up to three more weeks.

The former Australian Schoolboy played for the Sydney Roosters in the Jersey Flegg grand final win over Cronulla last month before starting a two-year contract with the Raiders.

Ale and fellow recruits Craig Frawley (Broncos) and David Howell (St George Illawarra) are eyeing off the centre position made vacant by Roosters signing Joel Monaghan.

"I definitely want to play first grade, but that's a goal of everyone here," Ale said.

"It just so happens that a centre (Monaghan) has left, so hopefully there's a spot for me."

Roosters Jersey Flegg coach Shane Flanagan said he had no doubts Ale could handle the step up to first grade for the Raiders, who snuck into the finals series this year before losing to the Roosters.

"He's strong and powerful and he scored some great tries for us," Flanagan told AAP.

"He probably has to get used to the defensive side of things in first grade.

"He can definitely handle it offensively. He's a really good, strong attacking player and he turns up when he has to.

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