Mitch Cornish will look to do at the Raiders what his mate Luke Brooks has down at the Wests Tigers when he makes his NRL debut this weekend.
You’ve seen Luke Brooks – now it’s time for his close mate to make his mark in the top grade.
Mitch Cornish will look to do at the Raiders what Brooks has done at the Wests Tigers by turning the club’s wretched fortunes around.
The 21-year-old Junior Kangaroos playmaker will make his NRL debut against North Queensland on Sunday as coach Ricky Stuart desperately seeks to turn around his side’s three-match losing streak.
With Jack Wighton now back at centre, Cornish will play off the bench behind halves pairing Josh McCrone and Terry Campese.
Cornish played alongside Brooks in the NSW U20’s team.
He said seeing his good mate get an NRL start before him hadn’t quite made him jealous, but it had made him a whole lot more determined to prove himself in the NRL.
“At different clubs there’s different situations where people get to debut earlier,” he said.
“He’s made the step up pretty well, and he’s been one of my good mates – it’s good to see him going so well.”
Cornish was actually meant to debut two weeks before Brooks in round 24 last year.
However he was unable to play after the Raiders were denied an exemption to their second-tier salary cap.
It might have been a blessing in disguise for Cornish, however, as he lost numerous nights’ sleep in nervous anticipation before being told he was no longer playing.
This time around, the Goulburn product is a lot more relaxed.
And with Johnathan Thurston in Maroons camp, Cornish won’t get the baptism of fire one would normally get when debuting against the Cowboys in the halves.
“He’s the best player in the world. It takes a little bit of pressure off knowing that he’s not playing. But it would be pretty awesome to play against him at the same time,” he said.