Tweed’s Ryan James (left) signs autographs yesterday with All Stars team-mate Jonathan Thurston.
Tweed’s Ryan James (left) signs autographs yesterday with All Stars team-mate Jonathan Thurston.

Ryan in with All Star elite

PROUD Indigenous All Stars forward Ryan James rates his selection in the squad the highest honour of his fledging top-flight rugby league career.

The Bilambil product made his NRL debut for the Gold Coast Titans last year and now, after only a handful of games at the top level, he is thrust into a senior representative clash.

The 19-year-old watched the inaugural NRL All Stars fixture with his family at Skilled Park last year but will now be in the team alongside some of the best players in the game on Saturday.

“I am looking forward to it, I was sitting on the sidelines last year, so being amongst it this year will be a great feeling,” James said yesterday at a team signing session at Harvey Norman Tweed Heads South.

“I will come off the bench and hopefully I can come on and do my best for the boys. They have said it is a real quick game, I have played a handful of NRL games so I will do my best to hold my own and do my best for the team.”

The 111kg, 192cm giant, who has the size and power to match it with the best, won’t let anyone down this weekend.

The Bilambil Jets Junior Rugby League life member played 11 years at the club and went straight to the Titans SG Ball side from there, before working his way into the Toyota Cup side and finally the NRL team.

Selection in the publicly-voted Indigenous All Stars squad is something James wasn’t expecting and it will be a proud moment when he takes the field on Saturday night in front of friends and family in the stands.

“This is one of my highest achievements to date ... at a young age to make a team like this, I am not sure I will ever match it. Just to play for your people and my local community, I will just go out there and do my best,” James said.

The All Stars clash is also an early opportunity for James to impress Titans coach John Cartwright ahead of the NRL season.

“Hopefully I play well in this game and (the Titans) have got a few injuries in the forward pack, so hopefully around round one I might be getting a look in, but you never know.”



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