Jake Marketo (left) shares a light-hearted moment with City Origin teammate Nathan Cleary at training ahead of the clash against Country in Mudgee on Sunday.
Jake Marketo (left) shares a light-hearted moment with City Origin teammate Nathan Cleary at training ahead of the clash against Country in Mudgee on Sunday. DAN HIMBRECHTS

Shock selection breathes life into Dragon's career

RUGBY LEAGUE: St George Illawarra backrower Jake Marketo hopes to use his shock selection in the City team to bolster his chances of earning an NRL contract for 2018.

Marketo's cotract expires at the end of the year and he is yet to play NRL this year, making his push for another deal at the Dragons or elsewhere difficult.

But the the 28-year-old hopes his surprise representative debut in Mudgee on Sunday will pave the way to a new deal.

"Hopefully it can attract something in club land and we'll see what happens this year," he said.

"I want to stay at the club but it's still an early time in the year so we'll see what happens."

Marketo was the biggest winner of the weekend's representative farce.

More than 50 players rejected the opportunity to turn out for either the City or Country sides in the annual fixture but Marketo knows it could provide a career-changing opportunity for him.

The 97kg forward has not been named in the Dragons' NRL side this season and after spending the entire season playing reserve grade for Illawarra, will line up for City in one of the biggest games of his life.

"I understand I'm very lucky to be in the position I am for this week," he said.

"A lot of great players pulled out and I was just lucky enough to have my name pulled out of the hat."

News Corp Australia


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