Spud lock

Guyra lock JJ Ellis in action against Glen Innes recently. He will make his international debut for Australia in the Student Rugby League World Cup today. Photo: John HamiltonGUYRA’S JJ Ellis will don the green and gold jersey for the first time this afternoon when the Student Rugby League World Cup kicks off in Brisbane.
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The UNE student and Superspud first grader will play in the second row for Australia in its cup opener against Scotland at Griffith University and is looking forward to his first taste of international football.

“I’m a bit nervous and worried about how things will go,” Ellis said.

“I’m only just starting to come to grips with the fact that I’m playing for Australia.

“We’ll try to get into the game and see how we go.

“The coach wants the two second-rowers to split either side of the field and stay there.

“I normally drift in defence but I’ll have to stick to the game plan.”

The Scottish are somewhat of an unknown quantity but Australia did narrowly beat them on their European tour last year.

“All the Great Britain teams should be strong,” Ellis said.

“We were talking to some of the Irish players and they said Scotland will be the weakest of them but we won’t know that until we play them.

“New Zealand will probably be the biggest threat but we saw the Welsh fellas walk past and they’re some big boys.”

Ellis has been in camp with the Australian team since Monday getting to know his teammates and opposition players and learning more about rugby league in other countries.

“We came up here to Griffith University and met all the other teams,” he said.

“They all seem like good blokes and I look forward to having a drink with them after the game.

“It’s not just about playing footy.

“It’s about growing as a person and meeting people from other countries.

“The Irish players said that rugby league is not a big sport in Ireland – in fact it’s almost outlawed over there compared to union.”

Eight teams will contest the World Cup with holders New Zealand and traditional foe England likely to be Australia’s toughest

opposition.

In the other game in pool A today, New Zealand faces Wales.

The pool B match between Ireland and the Pacific Islands opens the Cup at 1pm today while England and France play the curtainraiser to the Broncos v Sharks match tomorrow.

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