Warriors expecting Carroll to start - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Warriors expecting Carroll to start

By Laine Clark 02/07/2009 06:58:04 PM Comments (0)

The oldest player in the NRL, Warriors captain Steve Price, reckons playing rugby league is "like riding a bike" and expects Tonie Carroll to hit top gear for the Broncos on Friday night.

Indeed Price, 35, believes Carroll will start for Brisbane in their NRL clash against the Warriors at Suncorp Stadium, despite the former retiree playing his first game in 10 months.

But Price said the Warriors were still keen to test out the former international in his much anticipated comeback match.

"It's a bit like riding a bike. Ten months sounds like a long time, but it is not that long if you have been doing it for as long as he has," Price said at Brisbane on Thursday.

"We will certainly see if his timing is right. We will find out pretty quickly it if is."

Price said adrenalin alone would get his former Queensland Origin teammate through.

"I don't know how (Broncos coach) Ivan (Henjak) is going to play him, but you would think he would start him," he said.

"Just to let him get out there and get rid of the nerves straight up, see how long he can go and then replace him.

"Enthusiasm will get him through the first couple of games and once he gets his match fitness he will be well on the way.

"We know he will be doing his best and we will be doing our best to stop him."

Price said Carroll would quickly find out how much the game had changed since walking away at the end of the 2008 season - but did not doubt that the veteran could adapt.

"He will see that the game has changed a bit, enthusiasm is going to be a big thing for him," he said.

"He's been out of the game for 10 months and wants to be back in it.

"After speaking to some guys it is one of the hardest things, getting through the first year (of retirement), and obviously Tunza (Carroll) couldn't stay away.

"I know he is professional and a tough competitor. He wouldn't have come back if he didn't think he could do a good job."

Meanwhile, destructive Warriors winger Manu Vatuvei (hamstring) faces a fitness test on Friday after being injured in their 28-12 loss on the Gold Coast last weekend.

But they have been buoyed by five-eighth Lance Hohaia (shin) being passed fit after x-rays cleared him of serious injury.

The Warriors sit 11th on the ladder and need to win at least seven of their last 10 to make the finals.

But Price said spending the week on the Gold Coast had bonded the already close knit outfit and he hoped the results would start showing against Brisbane.

"We are pretty close as a group but to spend the whole week together, hopefully that will pay real dividends for us in games going forward," he said.

"It gets tougher and tougher if you are not winning.

"We've got to start getting the results right now - but we come up against a Broncos team in the same situation."

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