Addo-Carr on track for NRL debut

Addo-Carr on track for NRL debut
Sat 20 Feb, 2016, 7:00am
By Martin Gabor‌, National Correspondent,

The race to replace Pat Richards at the Wests Tigers is heating up. Literally.

A taxing training session took its toll on the team earlier in the week, with players put through their paces in a 90-minute hit-out in stifling conditions at Campbelltown Stadium.

One of the players vying for the recently vacated left-wing spot is new recruit Josh Addo-Carr.

The former Shark was a sensation in the Holden Cup, scoring 28 tries from 44 appearances in the under-20s competition.

The 20-year-old is one of the fastest players in rugby league, and has made an impressive start to his career at the Tigers, scoring a double in the side’s trial win over the Storm.

He also made the trip across the ditch to play in the Auckland Nines; an experience he believes helped get rid of the butterflies.

“The first game - playing in front of so many people - I was just a bit nervous, but as the games went on, it got a bit better. It was just unfortunate we didn’t make the finals,” Addo-Carr told

“At the start of the year, I was a bit rusty. I think it was just the nerves, and I didn’t know any of the boys. And probably because I was the only indigenous player until a couple of the boys came down, but now I’m fitting right in.”

While he spent the weekend impressing coaches on the Sunshine Coast, Addo-Carr was closely following the NRL All Stars match in Brisbane.

The concept means a lot to the youngster, who was a member of the Redfern All-Blacks side that won last year’s Koori Knockout.

He hopes to one day represent the Indigenous side in the annual pre-season fixture.

“Representing my family and culture’s a big thing for me. I’m a proud black man, and I’d just love to be a part of that,” he said.

Before that can happen, Addo-Carr must find a way to force his way into a Tigers backline brimming with talent. He’ll get another chance to prove himself when he faces his former club this weekend.

The uncapped winger holds no grudges against the Sharks for letting him go, and is excited to come up against some familiar faces.

“[The move was] just an opportunity to make the top grade. I don’t think the Sharks wanted me to go any further than 20s, so I’m thankful for an opportunity here,” he said.

“My goal is probably to make my NRL debut and just try to cement a spot in the first-grade squad and just play well for the team and do my job.”

While he is able to play anywhere in the backline, Addo-Carr is hoping to earn a spot on the wing at some point this season.

David Nofoaluma appears to have one spot locked down, with the other flank set to be filled by either Addo-Carr, Justin Hunt, or the bolter, Jordan Rankin.

Addo-Carr welcomes the competition, telling that his ‘rivals’ - who have helped his transition to the club – deserve first crack on the wing.

“I think it’s out of Jordan Rankin and Justin Hunt. I think they’re both good, experienced players, and I hope they do well and get the spot.”

The rookie believes all the work put in during pre-season has the club in good stead to make the finals for the first time since 2011.

“The mood’s good. The pre season’s been tough,” Addo-Carr said.

"We did an army camp a couple weeks back, and I think doing that has allowed us to come closer. It was all about mental toughness and working together, so I think by doing that, we’ve gelled together.

“We’ve gone into this season really well. We’ve trained hard, sticking in, doing the one per-centers. I think if we keep doing that, we’re just going to smash teams off the park.”

Reading what AddoCarr says,it makes me feel a lot more confident that the team will be pretty competitive this year…here’s hoping everyone does extremely well during the year…

I like JAC a lot. He’s a bright, well-spoken young Koori man and if he keeps going the way he’s going and keeps his nose clean he is going to be a good first grader and a proud role model for his people. Good on the kid.

With our need for a goal kicker and Taylors reluctance to give Moses the job means our vacant wing spot must be filled by a good goal kicker. That will see JAC miss the boat, but he will get his chance, there will be injuries

He scored 2 long range tries in NSW Cup, he’s an absolute flyer

He could be a future star. Have seen him play seems like a real speedy winger to me and can get to full speed from a standing start.

Watched him play all his minutes tonight …he is very enthusiastic,and sped to burn would not want to rush him give him some time in the lower grade so he doe not get burnt to early ,but defiantly will see him in the top grade this season if the enthusiasm keeps.

Very solid in NSW Cup…if he gets space no one will catch him…the try he scored from the 20m tap restart was super impressive…

Defensively didn’t have a lot to do made no errors…

Bright prospect

He has that xfactor about him.
Hunt didn’t standout on the wing and his speed & size is a large weapon for us. He also doesn’t slide in defense (hunt did that on the goal line)….

Surprised we signed him. Watched a lot of him in NYC last year for the sharks and he was a stand out. He has bulked up a bit too, I thought he was at least 2 years off first grade last year though.

He’ll be one of the shining lights after the disappointing losses of Tapau, Funaki, Seve, Martin and whoever else I missed.

@Mighty Tiger:

He has that xfactor about him.
Hunt didn’t standout on the wing and his speed & size is a large weapon for us. He also doesn’t slide in defense (hunt did that on the goal line)….

I think you will find that Simona was the slider and not Hunt, but he looked poor, especially after getting slammed ingoal from a kick early on.

has flashes of brilliance koori instincts for where to be . just think 1st grade teams at moment over 80minutes will target him and will struggle until fills out a bit . when the sharks got good contact on him they drove him hard . great player for future he is exciting

Did he have to take many bombs? If so, how did he handle them?

This is an interesting one. Addo-Carr has proven himself to be a top finisher in the 9’s and trial matches and the only bloke who can probably catch him is that young winger from the Cowboys who smoked us in the 9’s. Having said that, if Taylor decides Moses will be our goalkicker, I’d give Addo-Carr a shot on the wing. If Taylor decides otherwise, I’d go with Rankin to start ahead of Hunt.

I cant see Addo Carr getting much bigger. He is very solid in the upper body but has those Koori legs that just dont grow lol. His overall size isnt too bad IMO, if he can play tough then may just make it.

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