The man to replace Michael Weyman?
Injuries once threatened to ruin his rugby league career, but now Tom Learoyd-Lahrs stands on the cusp of Origin selection as a result of an injury to Michael Weyman.<br><br>Learoyd-Lahrs has always been touted as a player with massive potential, but a string of seemingly endless injuries and untimely suspensions have conspired against him ever since his first grade debut for the Broncos in 2004.<br><br>A move to Canberra didn’t help, the injuries just followed him. <br><br>But 2009 has been a turning point for Learoyd-Lahrs, who is starting to produce the damaging form his potential has always promised. <br><br>Now an injury to Weyman might just see the Raiders’ enforcer find his way into a sky blue jersey.<br><br>“It is a shame that somebody is going to get an opportunity at the expense or misfortune of somebody like Michael (Weyman), but I guess that can’t be helped,” he said.<br><br>“I can’t do anything but go out and play my best for the Raiders and hopefully that is enough.<br><br>“All my focus is the game against the Titans this weekend and how important it is for the club to get the two competition points. If we can go out there and play well as a team, it will help my chances.<br><br>“There is still improvement in my game and if I were to be honest I’d say I still haven’t been at my best over the last couple of weeks, but I’ll keep training hard and taking those small steps.<br><br>“I’m hoping to have a big game regardless of whether there is an Origin team being picked the next day or not.”<br><br>It is easy to understand why Learoyd-Lahrs is just happy to be playing the game he loves every week.<br><br>The Raiders forward, who followed his heart when he skipped a state athletics meet in order to play in a junior Rugby League match, has never regretted his choice, despite the succession of injuries.<br><br>He could sprint 100m in 10.8 seconds and was a state representative in the shot put and high jump, but Learoyd-Lahrs was never going to run from his true sporting dream – to play rugby league.<br><br>After being part of the NSW squad for game 2 of the Harvey Norman State of Origin Series as a shadow player, Learoyd-Lahrs has seen first hand what it takes to play at the game’s highest level. <br><br>“I enjoyed the week, I learned a bit while I was there and enjoyed the different styles of training,” he said.<br><br>“Hopefully I get a go at some stage. It was great to see how it all works and I’m definitely excited to get an opportunity to play.<br><br>“It is just all such a big buzz and I’d love to pull on the boots come game time. <br><br>“I’m definitely better for the experience and hopefully I get a run sooner rather than later.<br><br>“I didn’t set myself a goal to play Origin this year, I have just been working really hard for the Raiders and if I got picked I would be tickled pink.”<br><br>Injuries have taught the 24-year-old never to get ahead of himself and that is why you can excuse him for using the cliché of taking it one game at a time.<br><br>It is why he refuses to look past the Titans this week and why all his focus is on turning Canberra’s season around.<br><br>“It was a much needed win against the Storm, but the job doesn’t get any easier and we have a massive game ahead of us, we can’t afford to have an off day,” he said.<br><br>“The Titans will be primed for a big game, they have been consistent all year and their away form has been really good. <br><br>“Last year they may have struggled on the road, but this year they seem to have broken that little bit of a hoodoo they had, it won’t be a factor because they have had some big wins on the road. <br><br>“If we can play anything like we did against the Storm we will be in for a big shot against them.<br><br>“They are solid, they have been all year. We are in the position now that we need to win a lot of games if we are any chance of making the finals.”<br>