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Tongue backs Learoyd-Lahrs for Origin

By Ian McCullough 02/07/2009 07:00:57 PM Comments (0)

Canberra captain Alan Tongue says the recent form of destructive young Raiders forward Tom Learoyd-Lahrs warrants him a place in the NSW State of Origin side to be named on Monday.

Learoyd-Lahrs was called up as standby for the second Origin clash in Sydney last month, but with the Blues battling to avoid a 3-0 whitewash in Brisbane on July 15, Tongue believes the 23-year-old should be given the chance to line up against Queensland.

"Tom has always had the ability and that is why the club signed him up on a four-year deal when he was a very young fella," Tongue told AAP.

"He has been great for us this year and causes a lot of havoc on the edge of the ruck and is strong as an ox and I have no doubt he will be able to make it as an Origin player and I would love to see him get the chance to play the final Origin game."

Tongue has once again enjoyed a stellar season for the Raiders playing both at lock and hooker, but despite winning his first ever representative call-up for the Country side this year, Blues selection has eluded him again.

However the 28-year-old said he is not upset at the snub and admitted he is more concerned with helping the Raiders make the top eight in the NRL this season.

"I was delighted to get the chance to play for Country this year and it was an awesome opportunity and I soaked up every minute of it," he said.

"Unfortunately I picked up an injury and that hurt my chances but I don't think about it too much.

"It would be great to play because it is an arena that you want to test yourself in against the best of the best in the hardest competition in the world.

"But I don't get too worried about it, it is more media talk than anything, I am just focused on continuing to play well for Canberra."

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