Pep talk piques Johns - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Pep talk piques Johns

By Darren Walton 21/05/2003 06:53:58 PM Comments (0)

An irritated Andrew Johns virtually dared NSW selectors not to pick him for game one of this year's much-hyped State of Origin rugby league series.

As NSW coach Phil Gould gathered his extended 25-man squad for what amounted to a crisis meeting in Sydney, Johns said he didn't know what all the fuss was about.

Gould was earlier this year publicly critical of the Newcastle, NSW and Australian captain, outraging the Knights, and it was clear Johns was getting fed up answering questions about the standard of his football early in 2003.

He had a blunt message for Gould and the Blues selectors if they deemed his form not acceptable enough for the demands of Origin.

"I couldn't care less if it's not. If they don't pick me, then they don't pick me," Johns said.

"We've got a few injuries at the moment (at Newcastle) and (I'm) probably not playing the best I can, but I don't put my hand up and say `pick me'.

"If they don't pick, then so be it."

Earlier, Gould said he assembled his hopefuls because he was concerned the Blues were behind in their Origin preparation.

He said no-one, not even Johns as captain, could expect to be spared a few home truths.

But Johns said he didn't need a pep talk, setting the scene for an explosive team meeting.

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