Hayne ready to turn it on, says Ennis - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hayne ready to turn it on, says Ennis

By Laine Clark 15/06/2010 07:42:03 PM Comments (0)

One look at Jarryd Hayne training at fullback for NSW convinced Michael Ennis that the Blues selectors' controversial call to bench captain Kurt Gidley for Origin II was the right one.

Gidley is set to become the first NSW skipper in Origin history to start a game from the bench after being usurped at fullback by Hayne for Wednesday night's crunch Suncorp Stadium clash.

But Ennis couldn't argue with the decision after reading Hayne's body language at training.

And the message was simple - Hayne was ready to "turn it on" in his first game in the No.1 NSW jersey.

Indeed, Ennis sounded like a gushing fan when discussing Hayne's worth as NSW looked to avoid losing five straight Origin series on Wednesday night.

"He's a genius. Sometimes I wish I could walk up into the stands and watch the sessions because blokes like them, as a footy fan I love watching them play," Ennis said.

"Hayne's confidence at the back is something I thrive off. He reminds me a lot of Karmichael Hunt in terms of natural confidence on a footy field.

"When you were around him (Hunt) you knew he could just do things that not every bloke could do, no matter how hard you train or work.

"These blokes are just natural freaks. Jarryd Hayne walks onto the footy field knowing that if he wants to turn it on, he will.

"There is a lot of confidence around (in the team) but there are certain guys who bring that presence and Jarryd Hayne has that."

Hayne controversially beat a headbutting charge at the NRL judiciary to start at fullback for NSW for the first time, prompting an unprecedented move to leave Gidley on the bench.

"From talking to him (Hayne) he feels natural being there (fullback)," Ennis said.

"He is around the footy more and he can float around. I think he likes that freedom."

Not that Ennis was questioning Gidley's worth.

The Blues hooker believed "the balance was right" with livewire Gidley coming off the bench and Hayne starting, putting to bed speculation that the NSW captain may run-out on Wednesday night.

"When Kurt comes on he is just 100 miles an hour. He's got so much energy, talk and enthusiasm and that rubs off on other blokes, especially in Origin," Ennis said of his skipper.

"The first 20 minutes is just fireworks and then it becomes ...a big grind and sometimes you can fall into that slog.

"He will come into the game and that enthusiasm rubs off on blokes - all of a sudden you get that second wind and you start to get that spark."

Gidley seemed surprised when asked if rumours that he may yet start were true.

"I don't think so. I haven't spoken to (coach) Craig (Bellamy) about that," Gidley said.

"I would like to get on in the first half and try and get as much game time as I can.

"It will be tough watching the start of the game, but if this is the best for the team then I am happy to play anywhere."

Queensland coach Mal Meninga wasn't so convinced.

"I think he (Gidley) may start at fullback and go onto the hooking role at some stage or drop in the back row and play a dual role at hooker or an extra pivot role," Meninga said.

"We'll be prepared for any hand they throw us."

Meanwhile, Bulldogs centre Jamal Idris was called into the NSW squad as 19th man on Tuesday night, providing cover for the Blues backs.

Jason King - the 18th man - is back-up for their forwards.

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