Idris bolts onto NSW Origin bench - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Idris bolts onto NSW Origin bench

17/05/2010 10:35:59 PM Comments (0)

Jamal Idris' job on Queensland centre Greg Inglis in a Bulldogs NRL win over Melbourne last year convinced NSW State of Origin coach Craig Bellamy the teenager was a Blues star on the rise.

Nineteen-year-old Idris will make his Origin debut after a series of powerhouse performances - and Bellamy's memory of him at Bluetongue Stadium in a 26-10 round 11 win over the Storm - helped win him a spot on the NSW bench for game one against Queensland on May 26.

The giant Bulldog is the bolter in the Blues side, Idris sealing his position after a physical tussle with Parramatta's Timana Tahu a fortnight ago and then a powerful display for Country in the Origin trial against City.

"The Melbourne Storm played the Bulldogs up at Gosford last year and Jamal was obviously 12 months younger then and so was Greg, Jamal did a pretty good job on Greg that night and that always sort of stuck in my mind a little bit," Bellamy said.

"He will be starting on the bench and where he actually comes on and what role he plays, we'll work that out during the week.

"He's a big body and he's in good form, he'll be playing at his home ground basically as well so we think he can do a good job for us."

Idris' selection was part of a theme among the NSW brains trust in 2010 - pick bigger backs to counter the likes of Inglis and Israel Folau.

"We were looking for bigger bodies in our outside backs, I suppose to try and combat Queensland a little bit," Bellamy said.

"They've obviously got big guys in their centres and on their wings.

"Obviously with Matt Cooper and Brett Morris on one side and we'll have Timana and Jarryd (Hayne) on the other side, they're big bodies."

Dual international Tahu has capped a stunning return to rugby league with a call-up to the side in the contentious right centre position.

Tahu, who returned to play for Parramatta after two seasons with the NSW Waratahs and Wallabies, will play his first Origin game since 2006.

Selectors have moved him from his usual left side to the right, where he will have the huge task of containing Maroons champion Inglis.

As expected, Manly co-captain Jamie Lyon has been named at five-eighth for the ANZ Stadium clash despite playing in his preferred position of centre with the Sea Eagles.

"He has to be in the side there somewhere and he's played five-eighth before, been very effective, he played five-eighth most of 2008 and Manly won the premiership," Bellamy said.

Despite the selectors declaring they would stay loyal to the players who delivered the Blues a 28-16 victory in game three at Suncorp Stadium last year, they have made seven changes to that side, most forced by injury Bellamy said.

Gone are centres Michael Jennings and Josh Morris, five-eighth Trent Barrett, prop Justin Poore and interchange forward Glenn Stewart, while winger David Williams (shoulder) and utility Craig Wing (Japanese rugby union) are unavailable.

There was also no room for Cronulla Test forward Paul Gallen.

Kurt Gidley has seen off the challenge of winger Jarryd Hayne to retain the fullback position and the captaincy of the side, which is charged with ending a record four years of Queensland dominance in the series.

"We gave him a side that had a winning culture last year so we tried to pick the side as close as we could to it," chairman of selectors Bob McCarthy said.

NSW team: Kurt Gidley (capt), Brett Morris, Matt Cooper, Timana Tahu, Jarryd Hayne, Jamie Lyon, Brett Kimmorley, Michael Weyman, Michael Ennis, Josh Perry, Trent Waterhouse, Ben Creagh, Anthony Watmough. Interchange: Jamal Idris, Tom Learoyd-Lahrs, Luke Lewis, Brett White.

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