Gidley vows to fight for NSW No.1 jersey - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Gidley vows to fight for NSW No.1 jersey

By Steve Jancetic 31/03/2010 07:25:21 PM Comments (0)

Kurt Gidley isn't immune to all the talk about Jarryd Hayne taking his NSW No.1 jumper, but the Blues skipper says he's not ready to give up his starting berth or the captaincy without a fight.

Yet to play this season after injuring his knee in the pre-season All Stars clash on the Gold Coast, Gidley says his first assignment is getting back on the field, something he should do in Newcastle's round five clash against South Sydney.

Then the workaholic custodian says it's up to him to prove he's the best choice at fullback for the Blues as he distanced himself from a return to the utility role off the bench.

"I've got to make sure I'm playing well enough in the lead-up to the Origin," Gidley said.

"I certainly like playing 80 minutes and I think that brings the best out of me, playing 80, and being a part of as much of the game as possible.

"Whether it be at fullback or somewhere else, I'd like to be playing 80 minutes each game."

But given Hayne's remarkable 2009 season - in which he captured virtually every player of the year honour - Gidley's best bet for a starting berth, and holding onto the captaincy, may be a little closer to the ruck.

He is a proven performer in the halves and at hooker, but NSW selectors have a wealth of options at six, seven and nine.

Hayne was amongst NSW's best players in last year's series from the wing, and Gidley said the same scenario could work again.

"He's had a great 12 months, there's no doubt he's been the standout player of the whole competition," Gidley said of Hayne.

"I guess if I get back to the standard where I'm playing well, I'd like to see both of us in the team.

"I guess that's for Belly (coach Craig Bellamy) to work out how he can arrange that."

While the public push for Hayne to be the fullback will no doubt test the nerve of selectors, Gidley can at least count on the support of Bellamy at the selection table, with the coach glowing in his praise of Gidley's leadership skills.

"I can't give Kurt a big enough wrap for what he did last year," Bellamy said.

"It was a very young side we had last year and I thought in the first couple of games where we struggled a little bit, his resolve to lead was tremendous.

"I'd be very happy to have Kurt there again. I couldn't have been happier with what he did last year."

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