The last thing Rabbitohs forward Jason Clark expected coming from the field at Barlow Park in Cairns, was a representative call-up, but that’s exactly the news that greeted the Souths Junior on Sunday after being selected in Brad Fittler’s City team to play Country in Wagga Wagga.
Now in his seventh year of first grade at the Rabbitohs, Clark’s selection marks his first top-flight representative call-up, after most recently representing the NSW Residents in 2013.
The Coogee Wombats Junior told Rabbitohs.com.au that the City-Country clash – traditionally a platform for Blues selection – is an opportunity for players to show their wares at representative level as well as providing the opportunity to experience diversity in the playing and coaching ranks.
“It’s definitely an opportunity,” said Clark.
“This game is an opportunity for us to show what we can do in a representative situation and that’s how I think everyone treats it.
“It’s a chance for me to play alongside players that I usually play opposite or watch. So it’ll certainly be different.
“Being under a different coach as well – I’ve played under Madge for three or four years now so Madge and my brothers in the team around me is all I know.
“Being taken out of my comfort zone and put in amongst a different playing group – I think it’ll be a good challenge for me personally and something that will ultimately help to improve my game.”
Clark added that his selection in the side was an honour.
“It’s obviously an honour to be called into this side,” said Clark.
“It’s something that came as a bit of a shock to me after our game on Sunday – we don’t really think about things like that (representative selections).
“Our first commitment – and my number one priority – is Souths and getting wins. Getting the news after a loss picked me up a little, but I was still very much focussed on our performance.”
Rabbitohs teammates Dylan Walker and Luke Keary were originally selected for the clash, but have subsequently been ruled out through injury.
Clark will line up in the number 17 jersey at McDonald Park in Wagga Wagga this Sunday 3 May. Kick-off is at 4pm.
Make sure you watch Clarky play for City against Country this Sunday afternoon by tuning in to Channel Nine’s live coverage of the match, or purchase tickets by clicking here.