Schif urged to avoid Wendell's mistake - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Schif urged to avoid Wendell's mistake

By Jim Morton 16/01/2007 11:28:22 PM Comments (0)

Eddie Jones has warned league recruit Clinton Schifcofske not to fall into the same trap as Wendell Sailor and urged him to back his natural ball-running skills.

Schifcofske plays his first rugby match against a Super 14 opponent on Wednesday when he lines up at fullback for Queensland in a trial against the Auckland Blues at Whangarei.

The former Canberra Raiders skipper is Reds coach Jones' preferred pick at No.15 since losing Wallabies ace Chris Latham and will get 60 minutes in the hot seat ahead of Peter Hynes.

The former Wallabies coach's uncomplicated message to the 31-year-old is simply to "run hard".

Jones wants to see what Schifcofske can do against rugby defences and has told him to trust his evasive skills against a strong Blues outfit, boasting almost a dozen All Blacks.

"One of the reasons we signed him is because he can run the ball and I want him to run the ball," he said.

"If you look at the mistake that Wendell made in the first part of his career, he was too worried about how he was going to place the ball and forgot that he was one of the best running backs in rugby league, and therefore rugby union.

"We don't want Clinton to make the same mistake.

"We want him to run the ball and run hard and use his footwork and try to beat people because that's what he's good at.

"His first instinct should be to run and then his second instinct should be to kick."

Schifcofske, who regularly beat the first defender in his kick returns in the NRL last season, is one of 12 Reds without Super 14 experience in their 23-man squad.

He will have the added responsibility of kicking goals, a job he's savouring with rugby's fatter Gilbert balls after playing two exhibition matches in Japan and England.

The opening trial of the year also provides a gilt-edged opportunity for teenage halfback Will Genia.

Papua New Guinea-born Genia was the back-up half to NSW sensation Josh Holmes in Australia's under 19 World Cup success last year.

Jones has been impressed by his slick service at training and he is throwing down a serious challenge to Nic Berry for Sam Cordingley's No.9 jersey.

Cordingley won't be available for the Reds until round three at the earliest after undergoing a foot operation late last year.

Meantime, the Reds have requested Wallabies forwards Hugh McMeniman and Stephen Moore be released from their restricted training period to play in Saturday night's trial against Samoa on the Gold Coast.

Reds: Clinton Schifcofske, Peter Hynes, Henari Veratau, Lloyd Johansson, Brando Vaalu, Berrick Barnes, Will Genia, John Roe (c), David Croft, Tom McVerry, Ed O'Donoghue, Cameron Treloar, Herman Hunt, Sean Hardman, Ben Coutts. Res: Geoff Abram, Ole Avei, Nic Berry, Andrew Brown, Quade Cooper, Charlie Fetoai, AJ Gilbert, Gaven Warren.

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