Keating excited for 'real trial' - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Keating excited for 'real trial'

Joe Barton 11/02/2011 07:04:15 PM Comments (0)

All too often NRL trial matches are seen as a burden, but new recruit Kris Keating is jumping out of his skin to wear the Canterbury colours for the first time.

If coaches can escape a trial without injuries to key players, then more often than not, they're satisfied.

But for the Bulldogs, with an influx of off-season purchases and several key combinations yet to be decided, Saturday's trial against the Sydney Roosters at Leichhardt Oval couldn't be more vital.

After a dismal 2010, the Bulldogs know they need a strong start to the season - and that starts in the trials.

"Definitely we're all excited because it's a real trial match, I know I am," Keating told AAP on Friday.

"Kev's given pretty much the whole squad the opportunity to show why they should be picked for round one.

"Everyone knows that there's spots up for grabs this time around, and it's not just the five-eighth spot."

The position Keating is talking about is the five-eighth jersey he'll be fighting for against the Roosters, where he'll essentially go head-to-head with Ben Roberts for the honour of starting the year alongside former Manly halfback Trent Hodkinson.

Keating will get first crack, teaming with Josh Reynolds for the opening 40 minutes before Roberts and young gun Aiden Sezer take over for the second half.

"I've got me and Ben Roberts going for that five-eighth spot so that's sort of a goal for me to get that position," Keating added.

"That's why I'm looking forward to getting out there and doing my best.

"It's a new club for me as well, I probably haven't been this excited about playing a game of footy in a long time."

Elsewhere, a young Brisbane outfit will look to get their season underway against an equally inexperienced Gold Coast at Kougari Oval in Brisbane.

Halfback Ben Hunt will be given the honour of captaining the side which includes the likes of hyped young halfback Jordan Kahu, NRL centre Dale Copley and Samoan representative Josh McGuire, while regular first graders Alex Glenn and Ben Te'o will start from the bench.

The Titans will be led by experienced lock forward Luke O'Dwyer with Esi Tonga, Jordan Rankin and new signing Luke Capewell looking to impress coach John Cartwright.

While in New Zealand, the Warriors will be hoping to build on last weekend's 22-22 draw with Newcastle when they face Parramatta in Rotorua.

It's the first time newcomers Feleti Mateo and Krisnan Inu will face their old club, while the Eels will play new signings Paul Whatuira, Chris Walker and Chris Hicks and welcome back Shane Shackleton from a horrific hamstring injury.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2023 AAP

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