True Blue Jamie Soward casts his eyes over the Canberra Raiders young gun who is set to “officially” graduate from The Knock-On NSW Cup into the top grade this weekend.
Canberra Raiders young gun Xavier Savage will make his “official” NRL debut at fullback in Round 17 as they face off against the in-form Manly Warringah Sea Eagles.
It’s been a rollercoaster few weeks for the Cairns local after he got his first taste of NRL in Round 15 against the Dragons, where he ran on as the concussion substitute, only to be cruelly pulled back off the field 11 minutes later due to an error from Canberra officials.
With the green machine sitting in 13th on the NRL ladder, Canberra fans will no doubt be watching the game with a keen eye as their top side has struggled to rediscover the form which took them all the way to the 2019 NRL Grand Final.
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Much like the NRL side, their NSW Cup side was highly favoured to be in the hunt for a Grand Final berth, although mixed performances have seen them slide down the ladder into 7th, with five wins and eight losses.
Despite the up and down season, Savage has been a shining light for the Raiders scoring five tries in five games as well as 16 tackle busts, four linebreaks and an average of 153 metres per game.
“Xavier has it all. He’s got speed, agility and great footwork” Soward said.
“He’ll just have to support the ball and hopefully bring some spark to the Raiders attack and if his form in The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup is anything to go by, he’ll do just that.
“I’ve spoken to some people down in Canberra and they speak very highly of him. He’s a very exciting talent and he certainly looks to have that X-factor, which in today’s game is invaluable and I’m looking forward to seeing more of him in the future”.