Big chance for local players as Capras coach is on hunt

JASON Hetherington is scouring the local leagues in search of potential players to don a Capras jersey.

The Rockhampton Leagues Club Capras coach has six key players out because of injury and said he may have to turn to local players after the Capras were struck down by injury following their Intrust Super Cup Round 20 clash against Ipswich Jets at Browne Park on Saturday night.

Sam Madden (hip flexor), John Clayton (knee), Russell Webber (shoulder), Mark Johnstone (shoulder), Smith Samau (back) and Clinton Mooney (achilles) are all in doubt heading into this Sunday's encounter with Tweed Heads Seagulls at Piggabeen Oval.

This adds to the Capras ever-growing injury toll, which includes Marco Delapena (knee), Dan Bertucci (knee), Liam Pickersgill (knee), Brent Crisp (ankle - retired), Joel Marama (calf), Duncan Paia'aua (knee) and Sam Pierce (shoulder) in what has been a horrendous year for the club in terms of injuries.

Heading into Round 21 of the season, the Capras have used 38 players, which Hetherington said was well above any Intrust Super Cup or NRL club for season 2014.


2pm Sunday at Piggabeen Oval

CAPRAS SQUAD: Reece Baker, Russell Webber, Sam Madden, Smith Samau, Rhys Williams, Ian Webster, Shannon Rupapere, John Clayton, Tom McKenzie, Peter Gallen, Andrew Dale, Guy Williams, Gavin Hiscox, Clinton Mooney, Arlin Paki, Mitch Zornig, Marlon Doak, Corey Oates

Despite the ever-growing injury tally, the former Queensland State of Origin hooker remained positive and said the injury crisis could provide a number of promising Central Queensland players the opportunity to step up to the top grade.

"At the moment there are no changes (to the side) but there is still a fair few guys in doubt and I'll give them up until the last minute to prove their fitness," Hetherington said.

"They have to be honest with themselves to help the team. You don't want to take a team that's only half fit and break down in the warm-up.

"I'm hoping they'll be right but we can't go down there with 10 men so I have a back-up plan.

"When a door closes for someone a door opens for someone else and there are plenty of young kids around waiting for an opportunity to have a run. They won't let us down. It all comes down to opportunity.

"Unless you give them a chance you never know what they can do for you."

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