Lee proves king of the kids as Raiders land in Griffith

Rugby league

HE'S the NRL's newest cult hero but Edrick Lee is still coming to terms with all the attention.

The boom Canberra winger hit Griffith this week with five of his teammates as part of an NRL promotional visit, and was by far the most popular member of the Raiders contingent.

The 21-year-old was mobbed by children as he spread the word of the NRL's anti-bullying campaign through Griffith schools before running a junior clinic at Wednesday's registration day at Jubilee Oval.

Lee, who came from the clouds with a stunning 13 tries in just 16 NRL games before a broken arm halted his progress last year, admits it all takes some getting used to.

"It's still different to me. I'm not used to it," he said.

"As you get older it happens naturally. 

"The more I get the chance to do this and get the opportunity to talk to little kids and be more of a role model, the better I'll be. I'm still learning to be one."

Given his exploits on the footy field and his amazing aerial ability, he'd better learn quick - Lee has future star written all over him.

Last week, Wendell Sailor backed the 197cm giant to become the NRL's best aerial weapon since Israel Folau.

"Just being compared to one of the best in Israel Folau, I'm truly blessed to see that," a modest Lee said.

"I guess it just shows all the hard work I'm doing at training is reflecting on the field."

But here's a sobering thought for opposition clubs - Lee can jump even higher now.

Since breaking his arm in round nine last year against Brisbane, Lee has hit the gym with an almost single-minded focus on his lower half.

He now feels more "explosive" than ever before.

"I most definitely do," he said when asked if he can sense a difference.

"Our strength and conditining guy has been helping me out with different programs and it's really helped me, I feel a lot faster.

"But just with my leaping ability, I can go higher. 

"I'm waiting for my first trial to come so I can see how it goes. 

"That's one thing I've been working on and the more and more I do that, the more dangerous a player I will be."

After he was rested for Canberra's 20-12 trial match win over Melbourne at the weekend, Lee is hopeful his first run is just around the corner, when the Raiders face Newcastle in Tamworth next Saturday.

"Next week I see the doctor about my arm, I'll have a check-up and then hopefully I'm right and I'll be able to play," he said. 

"At the moment it's feeling great. As the weeks have gone on it's been better and better and in the last few weeks I've been doing 100 per cent contact. 

"I guess the one thing I'm focusing on now is getting heaps of confidence and belief in the arm. It's all a mental game."

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