Jennings the right man for NSW City job - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Jennings the right man for NSW City job

By Todd Balym 06/05/2009 05:53:16 PM Comments (0)

NSW City star Michael Jennings will cast aside torn ankle ligaments and show Blues selectors his versatility with a switch to right centre for Friday's clash with NSW Country in Orange.

The Penrith speedster typically plays on the left for his NRL club, but will gamble with a switch to the opposite side of the field that could solve a major dilemma for NSW selectors later this month.

Jennings initially moved across the field to accommodate Wests Tigers' youngster Chris Lawrence, who also plays on the left at NRL level.

But not even the injury-forced replacement of Lawrence (ankle) with Cronulla's Ben Pomeroy has prompted a change to the game plan with City coach John Cartwright wanting Jennings to stay on the right.

"I'm actually playing on the right this week which is a bit of a change," Jennings told AAP.

"Chris was supposed to be playing on the left. He is usually a left side player and carries the ball with his left. (Cartwright) just decided to put me on the right because I carry the ball in my right arm.

"I grew up playing on the right in club football and in the juniors so it should be alright for me I guess."

The shock move of Jennings could have significant ramifications on the NSW side as it was thought he, Lawrence and St George Illawarra's Matt Cooper were all vying for the left side role.

It meant Manly's Jamie Lyon, who tried and failed to get a representative exemption, was kept in the selection frame because of his prowess on the right.

But with Jennings keen to show NSW selectors his versatility, it could ensure the Blues don't have to carry a player into State of Origin who doesn't want to be there.

"I'm trying not to worry about that at the moment," said Jennings of NSW selection.

"I just want to perform my best, that is all I can do.

"It's nerve-wracking coming up to this week's game and being selected in this side."

Country centre Lyon wouldn't reveal if he was playing on the left or right side this Friday, preferring to keep the opposition guessing as to whether he and Cooper may also switch.

"I don't know if I'm at liberty to say," said Lyon when asked if he was marking Jennings.

"He is a big danger. He scores some tries and is very hard to contain.

"He is very fast, he has probably got me covered over 40 or 50 (metres) at the moment but hopefully our side of the defence can shut him down if he plays on our side."

Jennings insists he will have no trouble with his ankle after picking up the injury in the Panthers' win over Canberra last Saturday.

It was initially feared the 21-year-old would miss anywhere from two weeks to the rest of the season, but he will miraculously play just six days after sustaining the injury.

"It's pulled up pretty good, better than I expected," he said.

"At first I feared the worst but once I knew (the extent of the injury) I was 100 per cent I would be sweet."

The Country side will have just one training session on Thursday morning with their full squad, Canberra winger Joel Monaghan yet to join the camp after being with the Australian team in Brisbane.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2021 AAP

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