Rugby League


Shillington's series inspiration

As a young bull, David Shillington religiously pored through footage of Petero Civoniceva to help take his game to the next level.

And the Canberra prop is determined to help ensure the Maroons workhorse adds to his highlights reel with another Origin series win.

Despite starting for Australia in the Anzac Test Shillington will come off the bench for Queensland after Civoniceva was last night named in Queensland's starting side.

North Queensland star Matt Scott will start alongside the Broncos legend.

Civoniceva will retire at the end of the year, and will make his 31st Origin appearance in Melbourne next Wednesday.

His form has been up and down with Brisbane this season, prompting speculation Queensland would overlook the 36-year-old in favour of youth.


An untimely pectoral injury meant Shillington missed Darren Lockyer's triumphant Origin farewell last year.

He believes Civoniceva's swansong will provide similar inspiration for the Cane Toads to secure a seventh straight series win.

"I think Mal [Meninga, Queensland coach] summed it up last week when he wrote in the paper that if Petero wants to play, we'll pick him," Shillington said last night.

"He hasn't always been killing it at club level before Origin, but all of a sudden he comes out and has a blinder for Queensland.

"I was fortunate to play in the Four Nations final with Locky last year and I definitely hold Petero in the same regard, especially being a front rower.

"He's well respected in the group and it would be crazy not to have him there."

Shillington said he holds no qualms biding his time on the pine while Civoniceva endures the brutal opening exchanges.

"I know even years ago I used to go into the video room and bring up some clips of his runs, flick through them and see how he positions himself," Shillington said.

"Things like how he turns his body into the line because being a front rower is a lot about body awareness, and I've always been very wary of how he runs."

Shillington was devastated at being forced to watch Lockyer draw the curtain on his Origin career from the sidelines.

But he now feels that setback could spur him on to establish himself as a Queensland mainstay.

"It [missing last year's series] was probably good in a way, because it taught me to play every Origin like it's my last?," Shillington said.

"I had a really good 2010 series and I thought 'I'm in the system, it's just a matter of playing, but I've had to work hard to get back in'."

Shillington insisted the Raiders harbour no ill-feeling to the club's former problem child Todd Carney, who will make his Origin debut for New South Wales.

Carney was sacked by the Raiders in 2008 for disciplinary reasons, but has helped transform Cronulla into a premiership contender this year.

"He's dominating the NRL at the moment and I'm sure it will be no different when he steps into the Origin arena," Shillington said.

"They [NSW] have probably lacked someone in the halves that has taken their opportunity with both hands, and I'm sure the boys are quite happy for him."?