O'Hara continues rise through NRL ranks - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

O'Hara continues rise through NRL ranks

By Brent Read 11/05/2003 10:22:21 PM Comments (0)

Tearaway Canberra prop Ryan O'Hara continued his rise into the elite of rugby league's front row ranks with selection in the Country side for Friday night's City-Country Origin game at Gosford.

But O'Hara's elation was tempered by the surprise omission of Raiders teammates Jason Croker and Luke Davico, who were squeezed out by Country's wealth of forward talent.

Representative fall guy Matthew Gidley was also overlooked despite being an incumbent Test player, with Shaun Timmins and Jamie Lyon paired in the centres.

O'Hara, a Central Coast junior, has been a revelation this season for the league leaders and was named as one of three "rising stars" in a preliminary NSW squad last month.

But he was still shocked when told he was about to make his senior representative debut.

"I am a bit surprised and excited," O'Hara said.

"I thought there was a lot of blokes playing better than me. The whole team (Canberra) has been playing well so I suppose someone had to be rewarded."

He was joined in the front row by Newcastle hooker Danny Buderus and St George Illawarra's Jason Ryles.

Ryles' teammate Luke Bailey was overlooked due to a back injury after Country selectors spoke with Dragons doctor Martin Raftery on Sunday.

"Everybody has his name pencilled in just based on his form for the Raiders this year," Country coach Brian Smith said of O'Hara.

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