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Just reward for Jake the rake

In just his fifth career game, Jake Granville finally gets his first chance to start at hooker for the Broncos on Saturday night. Credit: NRL Photos Copyright: NRL Photos
If you're from below the Queensland border or across the ditch the chances of Jake Granville's name ringing a bell are as slim as a catwalk model in fashion week.

For those north of the Tweed, the curly-haired, pint-sized hooker stands out more than a Maroons' supporter mixing it with Blatchy's Blues.

Injury to influential Broncos hooker Andrew McCullough has opened the door for a patient Granville to start his first NRL match in Saturday's daunting away trip against the Warriors at Mt Smart Stadium.

It's a challenge that the 25-year-old is relishing as he looks to translate his consistent performances for Wynnum Manly Seagulls in the Intrust Super Cup into the NRL arena.

The Rockhampton Brothers' junior will strap the boots on for only his fifth NRL appearance after playing back-to-back games in 2013 and again earlier this season.

"I have just been waiting for my opportunity. I got a couple of games early [in the season] and have just tried to build off that," Granville told Broncos TV.

Granville has been 18th-man for Brisbane over three consecutive weeks at the beginning of the Origin period and as a result he missed out on football entirely, having not played in the Intrust Super Cup during that entire time. 

"For a bit there [not playing] was frustrating, but it gave me a chance to freshen up as well," he said.

"It is still a good experience being there [around the NRL team] and being 18th man."

With McCullough sidelined for at least another week with a minor knee injury sustained against the Raiders in Round 13, Granville will be looking to emulate the scintillating form of the Broncos' starting hooker.

"You learn a few things, especially watching 'Macca' (McCullough)," he said.

"He's given me a few tips here and there and it'll be tough to back his performances up, but I'll try my hardest and hopefully we can get the win."

Noted for his sheer speed coming out of dummy-half, Granville is hoping to exploit some easy metres through the middle of the Warriors' ruck when he comes up against their intimidating forward pack featuring the likes of Jacob Lillyman, Sam Rapira, Jayson Bukuya and Simon Mannering.

"I've [come up] against a few big packs in the [Intrust Super] Cup, but they'll be a lot bigger, faster and stronger so it'll be a good test," he said.

"It is going to be really tough. They are a big pack so I have to concentrate on my defence and try my best.

"I am sure if I get that right, I will find a few times to have a run and all the boys around me will support me so I'm looking forward to it."
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