Cross rolls the dice with NSW for Cup spot - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Cross rolls the dice with NSW for Cup spot

Ben Horne 14/01/2011 05:47:03 PM Comments (0)

Ryan Cross understands he's rolled the dice in joining a star-studded NSW Waratahs team in a last-ditch bid to make the Wallabies Rugby World Cup squad.

Cross decided moving from the struggling Western Force to the Waratahs would increase his profile in the minds of Australian selectors.

But by linking with a team choc-full of backline talent, Cross is risking it all.

He will have to fight hard to even get quality game time and his bid to play in a World Cup may be foiled by spending a lot of time sitting on the bench in the Super 15s.

Cross' task will be made difficult given Berrick Barnes' desperation to solidify his Wallabies inside centre position by playing well for NSW, and rising star Rob Horne's anticipated return from injury at No.13 for round one of the season.

However, with Cross' footballing future uncertain after this year, the 31-year-old is confident he can step up to the mark and reclaim top form.

"Everyone's played for the Wallabies just about in the backline, so it's going to be hard to get a spot," Cross admitted.

"I've just got to wait for my opportunity and play well and take my opportunities.

"(The World Cup) is on the back of everyone's mind. Last season I didn't have the best year over at the Force, so I'll just be looking to enjoy my rugby and hopefully have a good year."

Cross is relishing being back in the familiar territory of Sydney's eastern suburbs.

The Waratahs share a base with his long-time NRL club the Sydney Roosters, and the centre's wife and kids are pleased to be back home.

He admits he felt out of sight out of mind playing for the lowly Force, and the heavy travel and isolation eventually took its toll.

Cross believes the Waratahs star-power can rub off and help him get back to the Test arena which has eluded him since 2008.

"Whenever you're losing games it's never easy to stand out so I think if you're in a winning side it'd help everyone," he said.

"The Waratahs have had a good record and have obviously got a strong team. Hopefully we can go a step further in the semi finals.

"Having better players around me is going to help me.

"Obviously playing in the World Cup is the pinnacle of the game so it's a big year for everyone.

"If the Waratahs can go well, and we're aiming pretty high, then I'm sure a lot of the boys will get in it and hopefully we can get amongst it."

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