MILTON-ULLADULLA Bulldogs product Jack Murchie will make his long awaited first grade debut for the Canberra Raiders on Friday night against the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks.
After being named in Ricky Stuart’s extended bench for most of the National Rugby League season, it was announced before the team’s captain’s run on Thursday, the 21-year-old would become the 352nd player for pull on the Raiders jersey.
“Ricky [Stuart] gave me a call on Wednesday and explained [Aidan] Sezer was getting scans on his hamstring and if he was ruled out, I’d be making me debut,” Murchie said.
“As soon as I found out that Sezer was out, I called my parents – they were over the moon.
“My mum [Kristen], in particular, is the reason I am where I am today.
“She was always driving me around for training and games – I can’t thank her enough.”
Both his parents, John and Kristen, will be in attendance when the forward makes his debut off the bench at Southern Cross Stadium, from 6pm.
“Mum, dad and heaps of my friends are coming up, which is great,” he said.
My mum, in particular, is the reason I am where I am today. She was always driving me around for training and games – I can’t thank her enough.Jack Murchie
“To have them all there on the night will make this memorable occasion even more special.”
This game has been in Murchie’s dreams since he first started playing rugby league with the Batemans Bay Tigers under 8s side, before joining the Bulldogs and playing at Mollymook’s Bill Andriske Oval from under 10 to under 16s.
“It’s great to finally get an opportunity in the top grade,” he said.
“I’ve been working all my career to get this chance - it’s a dream come true.”
While Murchie hopes this is the first of many matches in the NRL, he is only concentrating on battling the Sharks on Friday night.
“All I’m focussing on right now is getting out there on Friday and doing my job for the team,” he said.
“I know it will be a hostile crowd at Shark Park, against one of the toughest teams in the competition.
“But when I get out there, be that in the middle or the backrow, I’m just going to do whatever it takes to get the win for the boys.
“If I can do that, hopefully more games come my way in the future.”
A year after being man of the match in NSW’s under 20s State of Origin win against Queensland, as well as representing the junior Kangaroos, Murchie, who also won a first grade premiership with the Gerringong Lions in 2015, was promoted the Green Machine's senior squad, following in the footsteps of fellow under 20s star Nick Cotric.