Patten deserves rep shot: Bulldogs coach - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Patten deserves rep shot: Bulldogs coach

By Ed Jackson 14/09/2009 04:01:45 PM Comments (0)

Bulldogs coach Kevin Moore says it'll be disappointing if his veteran fullback Luke Patten retires without pulling on a NSW Origin jersey.

"General" was the guiding light for the blue and whites in the 26-12 NRL qualifying final win over Newcastle on Saturday night, scoring a double as the `Dogs moved within a win of the grand final.

But despite a distinguished 12-year career including 257 first grade games, a premiership in 2004 and two Country NSW jerseys, 29-year-old Patten has never won selection at either state or international level - a fact not lost on his coach.

"It would disappoint me if he retires without playing Origin footy because he's one bloke who's really earned it and deserves it," Moore said.

"He would be terrific at that level, but that's just life isn't it."

Patten has watched while a lengthy list of fullbacks have worn the NSW blue jersey including Tim Brasher, Robbie Ross, David Peachey, Mark Hughes, Brett Hodgson, Anthony Minichiello, Ben Hornby and Brett Stewart.

Still potentially standing in his path are incumbent and NSW captain Kurt Gidley, Parramatta livewire Jarryd Hayne and Stewart.

But Moore said the ever-consistent Patten shouldn't give up hope just yet.

"It's good for the game that you've got so many quality (fullbacks), but hopefully General's still got a couple of years left, you never know," he said.

"I'm sure that he'd be disappointed he's never had the opportunity at that level, but he's a pretty realistic bloke.

"If it came his way, he'd lap it up, but he's got no control over it."

Higher honours or not, Moore says Patten remains a key element in the Bulldogs squad as they aim for this year's premiership.

"He's a big part of our side ... kind of like a spiritual leader in many respects," he said.

"He bleeds for the club and his performances week-in and week-out, he stands up, he's a real leader on field and off field."

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