James Segeyaro to debut for Cowboys
ANOTHER Cairns junior is set to join the NRL ranks after James Segeyaro was named yesterday to make his Cowboys debut against the Melbourne Storm on Monday.
The Ivanhoes junior replaces Ben Jones on the Cowboys’ bench, with his two-try effort for the Pride against the Central Comets helping him seal an NRL debut.
Segeyaro headed to South Sydney after completing high school but transferred north a year later to be closer to home.
He blossomed at the Cowboys, winning the captaincy of the under-20 side last year and earning an NRL contract. But his dreams of a senior call-up were shattered late last year when he needed a shoulder reconstruction.
Segeyaro’s first game back from injury was last month for the Pride in their NRL trial curtain-raiser against the Cowboys under-20s.
"I did it in the last game of the season in the final against Canberra," he said.
"It was a full reco, front and back, so it was pretty shattering."
But following his comeback game, the 20-year-old was confident he could eventually work his way into the Cowboys team.
Few had expected his rise to be so rapid but coach Neil Henry said yesterday he was pleased with what he saw from Segeyaro when he watched tape of the Pride’s opening round win in Rockhampton.
"James is coming back from a shoulder reconstruction but was a very consistent hooker with our NYC team last year and scored two tries (for the Pride) against the Comets," Henry said.
"He had a good running game and I think he’ll add a bit of spark on to the bench."
Henry said Segeyaro had been thrilled when notified of his call-up.
Segeyaro and Kalifa Faifai Loa, who also played for the Pride last week, will both make their Cowboys debuts on Monday after Henry made changes in the wake of last Saturday’s loss to Newcastle.
Mabuiag Islander Michael Bani returns to the Pride this week, swapping places with Faifai Loa.
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Big league: James Segeyaro cools down after a training session in Townsville yesterday. Picture: Suzanne Lowe