St George Illawarra Dragons second-rower Tyrone McCarthy believes he is one-step closer to fulfilling his goal of playing first-grade this season.
McCarthy is part of a 19-man squad named by Head Coach Paul McGregor to face the Central Queensland Capras at Browne Park, Rockhampton Saturday,
The Irish Bloodhounds representative admits the game will provide an opportunity to gain some extra valuable playing minutes leading into the new season and test his mettle against strong opposition in the guise of the Queensland Cup outfit.
McCarthy joined the Red-and-Whites from Hull KR during the off-season having previously played for fellow Queensland Cup team the Northern Pride in 2014.
“My whole objective of coming out here is to play first-grade and I got a taste of how strong the game is during my time playing in the Queensland Cup,” said McCarthy.
“I really enjoyed my time up there but it gave me a taste of what the next level could be like.
“I had a good season last year competing in the Super League and the goal now is to play in the NRL at some stage this season.
“Being selected in the squad to face the Capras is another chance to gain some more experience and hopefully get me a step closer to playing first-grade.
“I use the experiences Mike Cooper has had during his time here as motivation for me but I know there is a lot of hard work that is required to get to where he is now.
“I need to put in the hard work during training.
“We were all disappointed with our performance against the Rabbitohs in the Charity Shield recently and we weren’t able to get a hold of the game at all.
“That was a contrast compared to what we did against the Warriors but we wanted to prove a point and learn from the mistakes in the Charity Shield.
“We made sure we put some things right and approached the game with the right mind set.”