Prince a complete player: Cartwright - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Prince a complete player: Cartwright

By Wayne Heming 10/06/2008 04:59:59 PM Comments (0)

Gold Coast coach John Cartwright believes Scott Prince is "made for State of Origin" and has scoffed at suggestions his NRL playmaker is a suspect defender.

"They're kidding," Cartwright said when told the NSW camp had been questioning whether Prince could handle what will come his way in the second game of the series.

"He's the most complete and professional footballer I've ever come across and he's made for the night.

"Scott has fought back from injuries that would have taken the careers of most players.

"He's won grand finals and he leads us every week.

"I just can't speak highly enough of him as a footballer and as a person.

"He'll take that into the Origin game tomorrow night."

Prince's story is one of enormous courage and steely resolve.

He began his rugby league journey with the Cowboys in 1998 before Brisbane coach Wayne Bennett identified him as the answer to the Broncos halfback dilemma following the retirement of champion No.7 Allan Langer.

His time at the Broncos proved to be the toughest three years of his young life.

But it was also the making of Prince as a player and a man.

Not only did he overcome shocking injuries, he also battled through personal tragedy after losing his father Les in a truck accident in north Queensland just after he turned 21.

A few months after his father died, he suffered his second serious leg injury, this time breaking his right leg in two places while playing for the Broncos.

Just when he was starting to put his life and his career back together he learned Brisbane didn't have the money to keep him.

So he packed his bags and headed to Sydney to re-join his Cowboys coach Tim Sheens at the Wests Tigers in 2004.

Twelve months later, he led them to a shock premiership, taking the Clive Churchill Medal as the best player on the field.

He was also named Dally M Captain of the Year.

Cartwright rejected suggestions Prince couldn't work with Queensland halfback Johnathan Thurston because they were both dominant players.

"They're both very smart footballers, they're not selfish," he said.

"I thought that was just an excuse not to pick him.

"They're both very clever footballers and they could play anywhere."

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