Leary and Jensen step up for Cowboys
After making his return to the NRL last week for the North Queensland Cowboys, Blake Leary is keen to make an even better showing of himself when he starts at hooker this week.
Leary's performance in the middle was praised by coach Paul Green, and the young Townsville Blackhawks player is happy to be playing NRL, no matter what the position.
"It's all happened pretty fast to be honest… but I'm just happy to get back into the NRL system," Leary said.
"I'm not exactly a dummy half but I'll play anywhere to be out there at NRL level and just try and do my best for the boys.
"I have played there a couple of times, obviously it's not my preferred position, I've always been a lock back-row, but to be thrown in dummy half because I have played there for Manly… it makes my job a little bit easier."
Leary also spoke about new Cowboys debutant Corey Jensen. The Cowboys under 20s and Townsville Blackhawks product dubbed, 'The Terminator', is a classic example of the pathways system, having persevered after not landing a contract when he finished his under 20s career.
"He's a professional, he's out there in the gym lifting more weights than I can squat usually. He's a great professional trainer and I think he’ll really do a good job for us out there," Leary said.
Jensen is tipped to bring energy and enthusiasm to the Cowboys when he comes on, and given his 104kg, 188cm frame it's easy to see why. Jensen spoke about making his NRL debut, and the excitement that comes along with it.
"It's always a dream come true to play in the NRL, it's what I've been striving for, so to get out there and have a crack, I can't wait," Jensen said.
"Hopefully I can get out there and do my job for the team and have a good game."
Jensen is looking forward to the increased physical challenge of the NRL, but admits it's difficult to gauge how much harder it will be.
"It's definitely going to be a step up. It's hard to say what to expect because I haven't done it before, but I know just from watching games and the calibre of the games, every NRL game is fast and physical."