Canberra switch a blessing in disguise

If his high-profile move from Sydney Roosters to Canberra this season raised a few eyebrows, David Shillington is already convinced it was worth the risk.<br><br>Shillington was an unlucky omission from the Queensland State of Origin squad this week – the belated return of Michael Crocker to the NRL almost certainly squeezing him out – but the 25-year-old prop has credited the move south for propelling him into the mix.<br><br>“I wanted to get some more game time coming down here and play a more important role in the team and I’ve got that,” Shillington told NRL.com.<br><br>“It was definitely a risk.<br><br>“People talk about going to a so-called lesser club and how it could tarnish your progression in the game… your representative and premiership chances… but I never thought that was the case here.<br><br>“We’re doing better than my old club anyway.<br><br>“I’ve found it to be a good move for me because I have got that extra game time and the extra responsibility.<br><br>“If I had stayed at the Roosters, theoretically I might have had a better chance at certain things but I would have been stuck behind a lot of big-name players and still playing second fiddle to a lot of them.<br><br>“So I’m really happy with the move down here.”<br><br>Despite missing Origin selection by a whisker, Shillington said he was confident of being called into the Queensland squad later in the series should an opportunity arise.<br><br>“That’s how I look at it – that I am close and if I keep playing well the opportunity might come in games two or three,” he said.<br><br>“Obviously when you’re so close and you want to play so badly it’s always disappointing but I never really counted myself in.<br><br>“I knew when Mick Crocker came back that he would probably be in the 17 and they also had guys like Scott Prince that were close.<br><br>“I know my name was thrown around a bit but I wasn’t the only one so it wasn’t that much of a letdown.”<br><br>Canberra travel to Sydney on Monday to take on an in-form South Sydney side boasting one of the NRL’s most feared forward packs.<br><br>Having started slowly, the Raiders have found their rhythm over the past month and produced their best performance of the season in last week’s 38-12 demolition of the Warriors.<br><br>“There were a few weeks in a row there where we were losing by a try so there wasn’t much in it and it wasn’t like we were being out-played,” Shillington said.<br><br>“We’ve adjusted a few things and we got that good win last week so hopefully everyone gets a bit of confidence out of that.<br><br>“Souths obviously have big Roy Asotasi there and Luke Stuart is under-rated up front alongside him so it will be an enjoyable challenge for us.”<br><br>The Raiders are hopeful of welcoming back captain Alan Tongue after he missed last week’s win with a wrist injury.<br><br>Late news:<br>•&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;Kevin Kingston is a late inclusion in the Parramatta squad to take on Cronulla tomorrow night, with Brendan Oake excluded;<br><br>•&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;Newcastle is expected to take the field as per the Big League program despite a number of players suffering injury concerns during the week. Former Tigers fullback Shannon McDonnell will make his Knights debut in place of NSW captain Kurt Gidley.<br><br>•&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;The Bulldogs will wait until Sunday to make a final decision on the fitness of halfback Brett Kimmorley, who suffered a corked thigh last week. They are expected to rest him unless he makes some significant improvement; and<br><br>•&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;Willie Mataka will replace Danny Galea as Wests Tigers’ 18th man for the trip to New Zealand.<br>