nib Newcastle Knights forward Josh Starling says he didn’t mind the week off for the Representative Round.
“I really like this time of the year, we get a week off to see all the great athletes in the NRL get together and play for their nations and a bit of pride,” he said on Monday.
Starling also mounted praise on his teammates that participated in Sunday’s final City v Country showdown.
“It was good to see Pauli (Pauli) get out there for City, he hasn’t played grade yet this year but it shows what type of calibre he is and he went out there and had a really great game,” commented Starling.
“He (Nathan Ross) went good and he deserves his spot and he’s played well all year so if he gets a call up to Origin there’s no doubt he’ll do a great job.”
The Knights forward said despite the Club's record so far this season, the amount of players that were called up for representative sides shows the calibre of the team.
“It doesn’t really reflect on our effort and how we’ve been going this year, only having one win but to get all those boys in those teams is pretty special,” explained Starling.
“It also lets us get on top of some niggling injuries that people might have had but we really want to keep our momentum going so we’re going to have to have a big week of training to get back into it.”
The Knights' Round 10 clash will be back at home this Sunday, against a tenth-placed Canberra Raiders.
“They are a great club, they have a few injuries but the reason they’re so good is because they’ve got a lot of depth,” said Starling.
“A lot of people can come in and take spots without missing too much of a beat.
“They are a great team, they missed the grand final by one game last year so we really need to be on our game and start putting in some consistent performances.”
The 26-year-old is prepared to diffuse a big forward pack.
“We've just got to match it and get over the top of them somehow,” Starling said.
“They have a big pack with a lot of experience so we can’t really use the excuse of not having any experience in our team because a lot of these guys have played a full season now.
“We just need to man up, toughen up and give it to them as much as we can.”
Footy action is back at McDonald Jones Stadium this Sunday when the Knights meet the Canberra Raiders, NYC kick off at 11.45am before NRL at 2pm.