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International star champing at the bit for Ghosts' debut

Clint Greenshields in action for the North Queensland Cowboys back in 2013. He will make his first start for the Grafton Ghosts tomorrow afternoon at Rex Hardaker Oval.
Clint Greenshields in action for the North Queensland Cowboys back in 2013. He will make his first start for the Grafton Ghosts tomorrow afternoon at Rex Hardaker Oval. Colin Whelan

RUGBY LEAGUE: The last time Clint Greenshields walked onto a rugby league field in Australia, he was wearing the North Queensland Cowboys No.1 jersey, flanked by Johnathan Thurston and Matt Scott.

Tomorrow, he makes his return to the playing field in a Grafton Ghosts' jersey and the French representative is champing at the bit to play.

It has been nearly two decades since Greenshields strapped on the boots in Group 2, and it is fitting he will make his long-awaited return against the club he played all his junior football with: Sawtell.

While the five-eighth knows there will be a bit of extra feeling out on the field for his club debut, he has not been hit by any case of nerves ahead of the clash.

"I am really looking forward to just having a bit of fun," he said.

"I didn't get nervous playing in front of 100,000 people during my career. I am just not the nervous type.

"If you prepare well enough that is all you can do. I am just excited to play.

"I don't think there is any difference playing at Sawtell. I am sure there will be some backlash verbally and they might put a bit of extra physicality in each tackle but they can try and do what they want, it won't make a difference."

Greenshields has made an instant impact at the Ghosts' club, setting a high standard for the players around him and instantly taking on a coaching role alongside best mate Danny Wicks.

After learning under the likes of Wayne Bennett, Tim Sheens and Trent Robinson, Greenshields is trying his hardest to pass on their lessons to the Ghosts' next generation.

"They are all Premiership-winning coaches," he said. "I just want to try and instil what they taught me into some of these young up-and-coming players.

"A lot of it is technique-based and stuff that will stay with them no matter where their footy takes them."

While Greenshields is happily teaching others in the Ghosts' ranks, the return to rugby league has been his own steep learning curve, with a switch to the halves pushing him to work hard on the training paddock.

"I am not a natural half and have really had to step out of my comfort zone," he said. "I really have had to work harder on my game."

First grade kicks off tomorrow at Rex Hardaker Oval from 2.45pm.

Topics:  clarence league country rugby league crl grafton ghosts group 2 rugby league sawtell panthers