'Nice Guy' Jake Fits Kangaroo Mould
Cowboys prop Matt Scott hasn't received one of Jake Trbojevic's customary post-bell-ringer apologies but says the 22-year-old fits the edict of the current Kangaroos both on and off the field.
Trbojevic was called into Kangaroos camp in Perth ahead of Saturday night's Test against New Zealand after Raiders wrecking ball Josh Papalii was ruled out of this Test and the upcoming Four Nations tour with an ankle injury.
Trbojevic is the eighth member of the 24-man squad in line to make their Test debuts for Australia in the coming weeks and in just 47 games has established himself as a front-rower of rare promise.
Although Scott will only meet Trbojevic for the first time when the Manly forward arrives in Perth, he has heard only good things from the likes of Mal Meninga and Nate Myles about the kid they call 'Sorry' for his habit of regularly apologising.
"He hasn't apologised to me," Scott said.
"I heard that about him. Nate Myles has got massive raps on him and a few guys in this group that know him pretty well said the same thing.
"Obviously Mal thinks really highly of him, had him over there in the PM's XIII and said how much of a polite, nice guy he is.
"That's obviously a theme of this squad and I think he'll be a great addition.
"Disappointing to lose 'Papa' obviously but someone like Jake coming in is really exciting.
"Another new face but someone with a great work ethic and really good defensively.
"If we do have a few injuries he'll be a more than handy replacement."
With Paul Gallen and Corey Parker both overlooked for selection the core of the Kangaroos team has now been surrounded by an exciting batch of youngsters in Trbojevic, Shannon Boyd, Valentine Holmes, Matt Moylan, Tyson Frizell and David Klemmer.
They are decisions made with an eye to the 2017 Rugby League World Cup but fullback Darius Boyd says the squad that will head to England after this Test has the right balance.
"There is always change," said Boyd, who will wear the No.1 jersey for Australia for just the second time on Saturday.
"Everyone gets older and you can't play forever so it's a tough challenge for the coach and the selectors to keep some old guys and bring in some young ones as well.
"I think we've got a good mix for this tour.
"Josh has always been a great contributor to the side and he would have been for this series definitely but in saying that Jake gets his chance.
"He's had a great year and he's an up and coming player and he's going to do a good job.
"I've seen him play for the last couple of years now and he fits into the team well. He works really hard, does everything he can for a team and one of those guys that won't let you down."
Scott has lost just two of the 18 Tests he has played for Australia to date and is also excited by the introduction of some fresh faces into the national team.
"[Trbojevic] was probably very unlucky to miss out on an Origin spot this year so to be selected in the Four Nations is a huge bonus for him," said Scott.
"Confidence-wise it's going to give him a massive boost for next year and we're going to see some bigger and better things from him.
"Whenever you have some new faces come into camp it brings a certain amount of new energy and a fresh look at things.
"Everyone really appreciates being here and so far the guys are getting along really well."
This article first appeared on NRL.com