Whitehead disappointed to miss Nines chance

New Canberra signing Elliot Whitehead says he would have liked to play in the Auckland Nines this year but has missed the cut for the Raiders.

Whitehead has joined the Green Machine after three seasons with Catalans. The Englishman hasn’t made the Raiders’ squad for the Nines, but Canberra will feature 43-year old retired club great Jason Croker in Auckland.

“I’m not going to be playing in the Auckland Nines,” Whitehead told Love Rugby League.

“I wouldn’t mind playing in them but Ricky’s chose not to pick me so I won’t be playing now.”

Whitehead has arrived in the NRL in the off-season after 177 Super League games with Bradford and Catalans.

The forward has an impressive try-scoring rate, bagging 68 in the past seven years, averaging about one every three games.

Whitehead will be looking to make an impact in Australia similar to the one made by fellow Englishmen Josh Hodgson, Mike Cooper, James

Graham and the Burgess brothers in recent seasons.

The second-rower said his aim at the moment is just to cement a position in the match-day 17, with the likes of internationals Josh Papalii, Sia Soliola and Frank-Paul Nu’uausala, as well as Shaun Fensom, Jarrad Kennedy and Luke Bateman all competing for places.

“I just to get a back-row spot in the team,” Whitehead said.

“There’s some good back-rowers here so I have to train hard everyday and hopefully get that spot and just kick on from there.”

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