Littlejohn firms for Round 1
Fri 19 Feb, 2016, 6:00am
By Jack Brady , National Correspondent, NRL.com
With Luke Brooks suspended for the Wests Tigers’ season opener against the Warriors former Sea Eagles halfback Jack Littlejohn is firming for a Round 1 berth, kick-starting life at his new club in the best way possible.
Looking likely to pip teammate Josh Drinkwater at the post to start alongside Mitch Moses in the halves in March, Littlejohn is hopeful of earning his first NRL start since Round 17, 2014.
Unwanted by incoming Sea Eagles coach Trent Barrett last year, Drinkwater has welcomed the Tigers into his life with open arms.
“It’s really good actually. I love it, I love all the boys. They’re a good young group and it’s going really well. I came here with the mentality that there was a better opportunity here with such a young team,” Littlejohn said.
"I thought I’d get bit more of a go here especially playing behind Cherry-Evans and Foran last year where I didn’t get much of a look in.
“They’d bring in Feleti Mateo to play in the halves most of the times one of the boys were out. It was a bit frustrating so I guess I just have to try harder this year and hopefully get a go.”
Offsetting his disappointment over his Sea Eagles departure certainly lies in his hopes for a Tigers debut as the 24-year-old continues to chip away at making a name for himself.
“I’m pretty excited if I do get a chance. I’ll give it my best shot and hopefully any time one of the boys is out, I’ll fill in there nicely,” Littlejohn said.
"It’s definitely hard if you’re not one of the top profile halves going around. Once you do get a game you just have to try and take it with both hands and really stamp your authority on the game and try to make a bit of a name for yourself.
“Hopefully then you get a lucky break, one of the coaches sees you play and likes you which means you get a bit more of a go.”
Named alongside Moses for the Tigers’ trial in Campbelltown this weekend, Littlejohn found plenty of positives in his burgeoning partnership with the livewire 21-year-old, after their time spent together playing Melbourne on the Sunshine Coast last Saturday.
“I really like playing with Mitch. He’s a big ball of energy running around the field. So I’ll just take a back seat there, run the ball wherever I can and direct the boys around,” Littlejohn said.
"I’m kind of the same as him; I like to play what’s in front of me as well. In saying that I’ll still be directing the side around while letting him roam free to do what he does best.
“I think I went pretty well up on the Sunshine Coast, I set up a couple of tries and my defence was pretty solid so hopefully I can do the same this weekend.”