NRL 7 months ago

Damien cooking up plan to take over No.9

  • Damien cooking up plan to take over No.9

    SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 13: Damien Cook of the Rabbitohs leaves the field during the NRL Charity Shield match between the St George Illawarra Dragons and the South Sydney Rabbitohs at ANZ Stadium on February 13, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Damien Cook doesn't just want Robbie Farah's No.9 NRL jersey at South Sydney, he wants his NSW State of Origin hooking role too.

Cook has been relegated back to the bench since the arrival of the former West Tigers captain over the off-season, but has never been shy in admitting he wants his starting spot.

In the interim he is happy to bide his time, coming off the bench as he did in last week's loss to the Tigers and sharing the dummy-half role with Farah while they are both on the field.

"It's a new role for me," Cook said. "I've just got to learn the new role of being in the middle as a roving player, as an extra hooker on the field.

"But it gives Robbie a rest too and it just allows me to take my chances and try and have a bit of a crack and get the boys' energy back up."

Despite the unique set-up of having a hooker play 80 minutes and keeping another on the bench, Cook said he expected coach Michael Maguire to stick with the plan.

The Rabbitohs won four of their last five with Cook moving back into the No.9 jersey last year, but Cook insisted he wasn't upset when he found out Farah was coming to the club.

"I took it on board as an opportunity to learn from Robbie," he said.

"It was a really good pre-season, I really enjoyed learning from Robbie.

"He's got to prove things at a new club and I would like to think that he's learned a few things off me."

Cook has already seen the brighter side to Farah's arrival.

The 25-year-old hasn't given up on his own representative hopes, and sees playing alongside Farah as the key to such a rise.

"Origin is always a goal," Cook said.

"That's why it's always good to have Robbie here as well. He's the Origin hooker, so if anyone is going after him - it would be a great opportunity and hopefully I can have him in my corner."

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