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The Gus and Webby show

Phil Gould and Andrew Webster discuss all the big issues of the week in the world of Rugby League on Wednesday.

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Canberra Raiders prop Tom Learoyd-Lahrs admits the ''challenge is in front of him'' to emerge from the NRL wilderness. 

But the former NSW Origin and Australia representative is hell-bent on proving he deserves a new Raiders contract after taking his first tentative steps back from injury in NSW Cup last week. 

Canberra Raiders player Tom Learoyd-Lahrs says he's ready for the challenge of NRL and earning a new contract.

Canberra Raiders player Tom Learoyd-Lahrs says he's ready for the challenge of NRL and earning a new contract. Photo: Jeffrey Chan

Learoyd-Lahrs churned through 55 minutes in Mounties' win over North Sydney on Saturday, his first competition game for 10 months after he suffered a season-ending foot injury in round eight last year.

He suffered another setback when an ankle injury ruled him out for the first three weeks of the competition.  

The 28-year-old and fellow bookends Dane Tilse and Brett White are all off contract after this season.

Young front-rowers Shannon Boyd and Paul Vaughan have turned up the heat on the older brigade with impressive performances this year.

 "It's a crucial year for me,'' Learoyd-Lahrs said. 

"I still really enjoy my football, I want to keep going with it and hopefully get an offer to stay here. 

"I've got to put the runs on the board, I know I'm in that position. 

"It's unfortunate I've copped the injuries I've had and I've been put in this position but so be it, there's nothing I can do about it.''

Learoyd-Lahrs has no doubt, if his body allows him, he can return to the form which allowed him to play four Tests and four Origins in 2009 and 2010. 

"I've got full confidence in myself. I know what I can do when I'm on the field, I've got no worries about that,'' he said. 

"I'm only 28 and have had a bad run with injuries for sure, but if I get everything in check and I'm feeling good now, I know I'll play good footy.''

Learoyd-Lahrs said playing in front of a few hundred people for Mounties has had him more determined to burst back into the NRL. 

"It definitely makes you hungry to get back and play,'' Learoyd-Lahrs said. 

"I haven't played it a fair few years but I expected it would be the case, the team's been travelling pretty good. 

"The challenge is in front of me, and the weekend was a good step in the right direction.  

"I've been in this position enough times in my career, if I get an opportunity I'll be more than ready to go.''