Captain Anasta wants to lead long-term - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Captain Anasta wants to lead long-term

By David Beniuk 15/05/2008 07:08:26 PM Comments (0)

New Sydney Roosters captain Braith Anasta says representative football can take a back seat as he focuses on becoming the NRL club's long-term skipper.

Anasta looked to be in for a week from hell when a newspaper report quoted an anonymous Country representative on Monday saying players would prefer to line up alongside NSW five-eighth Greg Bird.

It got worse the next day when Anasta was left out of the Blues side for game one of the State of Origin series next Wednesday.

But Roosters coach Brad Fittler handed Anasta some good news when he named him to captain his Origin-depleted side against Parramatta on Friday night in the absence of NSW representative Craig Fitzgibbon.

"I wouldn't say (I've) given up (on rep football) but I'd say that it's not at the top of my list right now, especially getting this captaincy," Anasta said.

"The top of my list is the Roosters, it has been and it always will be."

"Regardless of Origin, the Roosters have been the No.1 priority all year.

"Now that I'm not involved in all the rep football, I can forget about that and really just concentrate on making the semi-finals with our club."

The 26-year-old's captaincy experience extends to a couple of games leading former club the Bulldogs when regular skipper Steve Price was injured, but he has now set his sights on succeeding veteran Fitzgibbon.

"It's been a goal and a dream of mine," he told AAP. "I've got a lot of passion for the jersey.

"I'm here for another three years after that so it's definitely something that I want to achieve, the captaincy of the club."

And getting it for the Parramatta Stadium clash certainly made a week that looked doomed by Tuesday a lot brighter.

"It's been great for me. It's shown the club's got a lot of faith in me and obviously Freddy's got a lot of confidence in me and believes in my game," Anasta said.

"It's unfortunate about not making Origin but at the same time it's out of my hands, it's out of my control.

"I could see no reason why I wouldn't get selected in the team."

Anasta faces a tough test of his leadership skills at Parramatta, where the Roosters haven't won since 2003, with Origin stars Willie Mason, Anthony Tupou, Nate Myles and Fitzgibbon all missing.

Parramatta will be without centre Jarryd Hayne but hooker Mark Riddell said NSW rejects Brett Finch and Nathan Hindmarsh would have a point to prove to selectors.

"I don't know how Finchy didn't get picked in that side with Kurt Gidley getting injured, I think it was absolutely ridiculous," Riddell said.

"Same with Hindy. It's funny the other week, Scott Prince has been playing really well and he gets a phone call explaining why he didn't make the Test team.

"Nathan Hindmarsh has played a dozen or more Tests for Australia and can't even get a phone call to explain why he's not in the team. It's very bewildering."

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2022 AAP

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