Esdale plays it properly


STANDING at just 173cm tall and tipping the scales at 92kg, proud Comet Mick Esdale admits he isn't the biggest prop in the Queensland Cup.

The 20-year-old hopes to emulate the success of another forward enforcer small in stature, but big in heart ? Queensland Origin hard man Danny Nutley ? when the Comets host Burleigh at Rockhampton's Browne Park tomorrow.

"I'm really geed up for it ? I don't care where I play,'' Esdale said.

The chunky hooker has been thrown into the engine room off the bench in recent weeks, but gets his chance to start against the competition leaders after stand-in captain Grant Broadhurst was ruled out with a shoulder injury.

Esdale said he "loves the rough stuff'' and admitted he imitated his game around Nutley, the smallest prop in the NRL.

"Hooker is more my bread and butter, but I love the extra workload at prop,'' he said.

It will be a baptism of fire for Esdale lining up against giant Burleigh props Ali Brown and Shane O'Flanaghan, who combine for a total weight of 220kg.

Comets coach Neale Crow said tomorrow's tough assignment was a "David and Goliath battle''.

The newly re-signed Herewini Rangi will captain the side, while Trent McKinlay shifts to the wing in place of the injured James Radloff and Fili Sofa comes onto the bench. Kick-off at 2.30pm.

Comets ? 1 Clint Rothery, 2 Trent McKinlay, 3 Matt Hill, 4 Tyron Haynes, 5 Paul Albury, 6 Mitch Wyatte, 7 Adam Geddes, 8 Kurt Cawdron, 9 Herewini Rangi (c), 10 Mick Esdale, 11 Todd Brandon, 12 Andrew Dale, 13 Trent Callaghan. Interchange: 14 Toby Wallace, 15 John Bidgood, 16 John Faupula, 17 Fili Sofa. Coach: Neale Crow.

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