Titans teenager James is a star: Bailey - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Titans teenager James is a star: Bailey

By Laine Clark 12/06/2010 02:42:15 PM Comments (0)

At 111kg and 192cm, it is not hard for Ryan James to stand out.

But the giant teenager turned heads for all the right reasons in an NRL debut that had his Gold Coast Titans teammate Luke Bailey already declaring him a future representative star.

Bailey couldn't hide his joy following the Titans' 28-14 home win over Manly on Friday night, ending a three-game losing run for the Gold Coast.

But the veteran prop's smile only became broader when the topic of the 18-year-old James came up - for various reasons.

The local junior gave as good as he got against a monster Sea Eagles pack boasting the likes of Test representatives Josh Perry and Brent Kite as well as NSW squad member Jason King.

In the first half a completely unfazed James could be seen jostling with a niggling Perry as they tried to pack down a scrum.

Bailey said James was "definitely" a representative star of the future.

"He's got the physique but he's also got that agility which I like, and he's pretty quick," he said.

He's also got something else that the bald Bailey wasn't too happy about - hair, and lots of it.

"It really sucks," Bailey said of James' flowing mane.

"It's like being really thirsty and watching someone open a can of Coke - to see him play with that hair I'm like 'can I have a couple of strands?'."

Not that Bailey was holding any grudges against the former Australian Schoolboys representative.

"I'm not done yet but I think we have found my replacement," Bailey laughed.

"He is a giant. The (Manly) boys tried to give him a bit of lip and fire him up and he didn't take a backward step - the coach liked that.

"They were trying to niggle the young fella but he's 111kg - you don't want to fire him up too much."

Signed when just 14 by Melbourne, James has played for the Titans under 20s the past two years since opting to be closer to his family in the Gold Coast region.

His under 20s' deeds have already earned him a reputation for being a cross between Sonny Bill Williams and Sam Thaiday.

Bailey sounded like he was already a member of James' growing fan club.

"I kept an eye on him last year and he appears to have lost his baby fat - well, he has trimmed down to 111kg," he laughed.

"I offered him advice before the game (against Manly) but he didn't need it - they are all confident at that age.

"They are a different breed to the old school."

A former old school forward - Titans coach John Cartwright - also liked what he saw.

"Ryan was great. He did exactly what he was asked to do," he said.

"He is only 18 and to go out there and play against pretty well an international front row (is great) - and they were looking for him too."

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