Sport

Back in the fold and in the hunt

Ben Ross
Ben Ross Brett Wortman

HE MAY be a warhorse scarred by long campaigns against hostile forces, but Ben Ross feels as frisky as a young colt.

The prodigal son has returned to his old Sutherland Shire fortress at Cronulla in preparation for the start of the 2012 NRL season, his sabre rattling.

Back on the Sunshine Coast for the Christmas break, the Nambour Crushers product spoke to the Daily yesterday about the shock of rejuvenation he had experienced after inking a two-year deal with his former club.

He also spoke effusively about the long-suffering Sharks' chances of success next season, insisting the club now possessed the personnel to "shake the NRL up".

With the club having been reinforced by new signings - including discarded Rooster Todd Carney, Wests Tigers duo Bryce Gibbs and Andrew Fifita and Newcastle's Isaac de Gois - Ross believes it has the potential to play finals football for the first time since 2008 if it can harness that talent.

"I'M going back (after Christmas) to prove a point. I know the team can do something special," the veteran prop said.

"Hopefully, I'm there when we do it."

The 31-year-old, who might have signed his last NRL contract, played 45 times for Cronulla between 2006-09.

Cronulla helped transform him into the player he became, but it was also the club where his career almost ended when he suffered a serious neck injury in the opening round in 2009.

He was a millimetre away from being left paralysed for life and after almost two years of rehabilitation following surgery, he returned to play for the South Sydney Rabbitohs this year after signing with the club in 2010 and taking a baseline pay cut of more than $350,000.

And what a season it was, with Ross averaging more than 100 metres a game while playing every match.

It was Cronulla skipper Paul Gallen who convinced him to return to the Sharks, following a chance encounter at a shopping mall.

"He's one of the main reasons I came back to Cronulla," former Queensland Origin star Ross said.

"He was pushing me to come back. So I've got the respect of the captain and one of the world's best players. It's exciting to go back and play with him."

Ross said wild child Carney was thriving at the Sharks because of his "phenomenal" ability and had provided the side with a much-needed x-factor.

Topics:  ben ross cronulla nrl


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Hemp fan reaps what he sows

Stall assistant Bubaloo Fahy at the Hemp Foods Australia stall at Mullumbimby Farmers' Market. PHOTO: KATE O'NEILL

Businessman and campaigner celebrates legalisation of hemp as food

Chance to clean up for dragons

Ballina-on-Richmond Rotarian Col Lee with the washing machines and dryers for sale.

Whitegoods the key to fundraising drive

Matthias transported at age 13

Matthias Isaac Lewis in his later years. He drowned, aged 69, in 1885. PHOTO: ANCESTRY.COM

Convict made the most of his new life in Australia

Local Partners

Refugee 'unfairly' sacked from Byron Bay Superfoods

Fair Work Commission labels company "vindictive" after Sudanese Civil war victim sacked for complaining about being underpaid.

Chicago comes to Bangalow

CELL BLOCK TANGO: Actress Catherine Zeta-Jones in a scene from the 2002 film Chicago.

The next production by Bangalow Theatre Company

A ballet event of lovers and fairies in Byron Bay

ON STAGE: Byron Ballet's 10th anniversary production will be Shakespeare's A Midnight Summer's Dream.

Byron Ballet celebrates 10 years

What to expect at Birds of Tokyo's Ipswich gig

The band will perform at the Racehorse Hotel on Friday.

BAND member Glen Sarangapany talks music, pub grub and doing shoeys

Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor split after 17 years

BEN Stiller and his wife Christine Taylor have called it a day in a joint announcement.

Why The Voice hasn't produced a star

Boy George responds to Brittania Clifford-Pugh's heart-warming message.

It's the industry, not the show, says Boy George

These actors hated their movies and didn’t mind admitting it

Channing Tatum and Marlon Wayans in a scene from GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra.

Every year, Hollywood blesses us with plenty of God awful movies.

Miranda Kerr and fiance hang up backyard tent for wedding

The decorators and caterers are arriving for the final preparations for the wedding of Miranda Kerr and Evan Spiegel. Pictures: Splash

Evan Spiegel and Miranda Kerr are set to marry today

Book review: Mia Freedman's book meets her critics head on

I appreciated Freedman's blunt honesty in the book

Chicago comes to Bangalow

CELL BLOCK TANGO: Actress Catherine Zeta-Jones in a scene from the 2002 film Chicago.

The next production by Bangalow Theatre Company

Man's amazing comeback from monster crisis

Pat O'Driscoll agents Penny Keating and Doug Webber sold 56 Agnes St, The Range at auction over the weekend.

NOT long ago, he sold his possessions to pay staff. Now he's back.

Here's your chance to carp about feral pests

Carp might by great fun to catch but they're destroying Australia's watercourses.

Science in the Pub looks at carp and coral trees

SNEAK PEEK: What new shopping centre is going to look like

Artist impression of the proposed redevelopment of the cinema and shopping complex on Jonson St, Byron Bay.

Mercato billed as regional NSW's most sustainable shopping complex

How Toowoomba house prices compare in Australia

For sale sign in front of home.

Here's what $700,000 will buy you in Toowoomba, Brisbane and Sydney

Slaves in Byron: The dark side of housing crisis

Housing generic.

A darker side to Byron's economy

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!