Rep pride alive: NSW Country's Hindmarsh - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Rep pride alive: NSW Country's Hindmarsh

By Steve Jancetic and Philip Henderson 28/04/2008 07:52:35 PM Comments (0)

Australian discard Nathan Hindmarsh likened his first Country jumper to his first NSW one, but for the City slickers it's all about the sky blue.

Just a day after being dropped from the Test side for the first time since 2004, Hindmarsh was beaming at the prospect of representing Country for the first time in his distinguished career.

While a return to NSW and Test colours remain high on the agenda, he described the excitement of running out for Country "like pulling on my first NSW jersey".

"I'm very proud to be a Country boy and I grew up watching City v Country - in our house it was like Origin to us.

"They say Queenslanders have got that special thing about them when it comes to pride and wearing that Maroon jersey, I think it's the same with the Country boys."

But for the City slickers, NSW jumpers are the lure.

City coach Tim Sheens made little attempt to hide the fact NSW berths would be his side's main motivation, so much so that he will invite Blues coach Craig Bellamy to address his players in camp.

Up to seven NSW spots appear up for grabs heading into the series opener against Queensland at ANZ Stadium on May 21, a point Sheens was sure to stress this week.

"I've asked Craig to come and have a talk to the guys if he gets the chance this week to let them know that the motivation for our guys isn't the metropolitan area," Sheens said.

"We're not playing for that, we're playing for the Blue jumper really.

"I tend to think of myself as a lower grade coach for the state coach, still wanting to beat Laurie (Country counterpart Laurie Daley) and the Country boys of course, but still working with the state coach in regards to preparing that side."

It's a NSW side Hindmarsh is desperate to be part of in what will be his last year of rep footy after playing in the last two losing Origin campaigns.

"I want to get back in there, if I do get back there it will probably be my last Origin series and I'd like to finish on good note and win back the trophy," Hindmarsh said.

"It wasn't a total shock (not being picked for Australia), I knew I was 50-50 and I guess I went the lesser 50.

"It's disappointing ... but life goes on.

"I hope to think my rep career's not dead and buried."

Dumped Australian winger Jarryd Hayne said he hoped to re-capture his form playing for City after using last year's representative match to kickstart his run into both the NSW and Test teams.

"I'm sort of in the same position as I was last year, coming in to the City-Country game I didn't have a lot of form under my belt (last year) and it sort of kicked off my season, so hopefully I can do it again," said Hayne.

Both teams have called up reinforcements, with Brett Stewart (calf), Matt Cooper (back) and Jamie Lyon (personal reason) pulling out of the Country side and City prop Jason King (ankle) also a forced withdrawal.

Daley and Lyon's NRL club side Manly refused to go into detail over his unavailability.

"He's got a family matter," Daley said. "I spoke to him about it and I just said I'll leave it at that."

Brett Kearney will go from the bench to fullback for Country with Sydney Roosters winger Amos Roberts and North Queensland centre Ben Harris also coming into the starting side. Ben Hornby was the new man on the bench.

Chad Robinson will join the City bench with Bryce Gibbs to start in place of King.

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