Gidley a contender for Blues No.6 jersey - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Gidley a contender for Blues No.6 jersey

By Adrian Proszenko 10/05/2006 08:13:34 PM Comments (0)

Country playmaker Kurt Gidley believes the one advantage he has in the race for the NSW five-eighth jersey is the man he'll be playing alongside - Brett Finch.

The representative retirement of Andrew Johns and Trent Barrett has made Friday night's fixture a genuine selection battle for the NSW halfback and five-eighth jerseys, with Finch and Gidley up against City pairing Matt Orford and Craig Gower.

While Gower and Orford have yet to play together, Finch and Gidley have been friends since their junior playing days in Newcastle after being introduced by mutual friend and current Newcastle forward Clint Newton.

"It's certainly an advantage knowing him coming into the game and not just somebody I've met on Monday night," Gidley said.

"I've known him away from footy. On the weekends we call each other up, we each go back to Newcastle, that sort of thing.

"I played with him in the Australian Prime Minister's XIII in PNG last year and I've known him for plenty of years now. It's nothing new to me.

"That certainly helps, but it will all come down to how we go on the field on Friday night."

Gidley has been on the periphery of representative teams in recent seasons, playing just one match for Country in 2004.

But the absence of Johns and Barrett has made him a genuine contender for the Blues No.6 jersey - if he can outplay Gower and Orford on Friday night.

"It's a good thing (to be considered), it's always good to be selected in any rep team," Gidley said.

"Everyone aspires to play for NSW or Queensland.

"It's pretty flattering being thrown into the mix, but it will only matter if my name comes out when the (NSW) team is announced.

"I'm not really too concerned about that at the moment, I'm happy to be playing for Country on Friday night and that's my main priority.

"There's plenty of players vying for a few spots in the 17, so I'm just going to do my best.

"I'm looking to help the team out as much as I can and hopefully get a win."

The 23-year-old said playing alongside Johns at a resurgent Newcastle wouldn't harm his chances of earning a Blues jersey.

"The whole club has been going well. We're running third and that definitely helps your chances making rep teams," he said.

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