Anyone familiar with Group 10 will know the name Jamie Clark.
Clark was one of the vital cogs in the Lithgow Workies juggernaut that stormed to the 2012 grand final win, and maintained the club’s position as a competition powerhouse in the two winters to come.
A classy hooker with a deft kicking game, Clark was easily one of the best rakes in Western, let alone Group 10 during three years at the foot of the mountains.
And the now 30-year-old has come a long way.
On Saturday night Clark will play against Australia in the final pool round of the 2017 Rugby League World Cup.
Clark is part of Brad Fittler’s Lebanon Cedars line-up named to play at the Sydney Football Stadium on Saturday after impressing in his first appearance at the tournament against England.
Clark started at hooker – he’s named to come off the bench on Saturday – and stunned the poms with some big hits and classy touches, some of which came in the unfamiliar position of the backrow.
Now playing with the Auburn Warriors, the Lebanese international drew praise from skipper Robbie Farah after his side’s loss to England.
Clark was one of four new faces to join the Cedars side after the small rugby league playing nation broke through for its first win at a Rugby League World Cup when it knocked off France 29-18 in week one of the tournament.
Farah was rapt with his side’s performance against the English, praising Clark and the other new inclusions in the Lebanon side.
“We’ve had guys shoot off to work in between training sessions, majority of our team are park footballers,” Farah said after the 29-10 loss to England.
“When you’re coming up against world-class players and a team that has played consistent footy together, we definitely didn’t embarrass ourselves that’s for sure.”
Fittler echoed Farah’s sentiment.
“To put things the whole thing into perspective, last week we had blokes concussed that we couldn’t play. We had a bloke that was injured who is now getting an operation,” Fittler said.
“The second-half was pretty impressive really. Under a lot of pressure, we used the ball, supported each other well and came up with some pressure passes.”
Clark has played with Lebanon on 13 occasions prior to this World Cup.
Lebanon takes on the Kangaroos on Saturday night.
- LEBANON: 1 Anthony Layoun (Parramatta), 2 Travis Robinson (Redfern All Blacks), 3 James Elias (Wests Newcastle), 4 Adam Doueihi (South Sydney), 5 Abbas Miski (North Sydney), 6 Mitchell Moses (VC – Parramatta), 7 Robbie Farah (C – South Sydney), 8 Tim Mannah (Parramatta), 9 Michael Lichaa (Bulldogs), 10 Alex Twal (Wests Tigers), 11 Chris Saab (Guildford), 12 Ahmad Ellaz (Auburn Warriors), 13 Nick Kassis (Wentworthville Magpies); BENCH: 14 Mitchell Mamary (Auburn Warriors), 15 Ray Moujalli (Canterbury Bulldogs), 16 Jamie Clark (Auburn Warriors), 17 Andrew Kazzi (Wests Tigers); COACH: Brad Fittler.