Roos' new Rhino has big shoes to fill

Antony Perry April 14, 2012

The Queanbeyan Kangaroos have recruited another English prop import as the club shoots for its third consecutive premiership in the Canberra Raiders Cup, kicking off today.

The Roos have replaced English forward George Griffin with former Leeds Rhinos Academy prop James Davies, an 18-year-old hoping to breathe new life into his fledgling rugby league career in Australia.

Davies spent four seasons in the Rhinos' Academy but, recommended to the Roos by Griffin, is now enthusiastic about a fresh start.

"There's quite a lot of pressure to be honest, George's boots are going to be pretty hard to fill this year, but I'll just go out and try to do my best," Davies said.

"I had played rugby all my life and just wasn't enjoying it at all. I wasn't looking forward to training or anything.

"As soon as I found out about the offer my bags were packed and I was gone.

"Everything has been fantastic since I arrived. I'm just trying my best and I'll see what happens."

Davies should immediately get a measure of the competition's standard when the Roos open the season against last year's minor premiers, the Belconnen United Scholars, at Northbourne Oval today.

The Scholars have also added a prize recruit in former Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs fullback Brent Crisp.

Kangaroos player-coach Aaron Gorrell, a former hooker with the St George Illawarra Dragons, remained coy about his team's chance of a third successive title in 2012.

"It's early days, so I'm not going to go blowing our own trumpet," Gorrell said.

"We've got a lot of new faces, but I'm sure if we can just slowly improve over the year we'll give it a bit of a shake."

In other matches, Gungahlin will host Yass at West Belconnen, while the Tuggeranong Bushrangers will travel to Goulburn.

Meanwhile, former Sydney Roosters premiership prop Andrew Lomu will come out of retirement tomorrow when he joins the West Belconnen Warriors against the Woden Valley Rams.