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Foster fired up for Raiders debut

Canberra second rower Jake Foster says he'll be treating his return game to the NRL as though it's his last.
Foster fired up for Raiders debut
by AAP

By David Barbeler

CANBERRA, April 25 AAP - Canberra second rower Jake Foster says he'll be treating his return game to the NRL as though it's his last.

Having played 10 matches for the Bulldogs in 2010 and 2011, Foster moved to the Raiders this season after failing to get a single game last year under new coach Des Hasler.

He says he's itching to "prove a few people wrong" after being named to make his Raiders debut against North Queensland in Townsville on Saturday.

"I missed all last year, didn't get a game at all, then sort of got down in the dumps," the 24-year-old said.

"But you've got to stay positive and an opportunity arose at the Raiders and I'll take it with both hands this weekend."

Injuries to co-captain David Shillington (rib) and Josh Papalii (knee) have opened the door for Foster and rookie prop Paul Vaughan this weekend.

But with competition fierce for spots in the Raiders' young forward pack, Foster knows he won't get many chances to prove himself.

"I'm going to take it as my last chance because you never know when your last game will be," he said.

"So I will be going out there and ripping in."

It's a similar story for another forward on the fringe of the Raiders' pack, Mark Nicholls, who announced on Thursday he had re-signed with the club until the end of 2015.

Nicholls was only just pipped by Vaughan to fill the front row spot this weekend made vacant by Papalii.

After making his NRL debut last year in round 17, Nicholls played the remaining 12 games of the season - including two semi-final appearances - to be the club's rookie of the year.

"There was a little bit of interest (from other clubs) early on but I just told my manager I wanted to stay in Canberra," the 23-year-old front rower said.

"I'm happy here and I want to establish myself as an NRL player."

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