Elliott backs Gordon to handle Origin - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Elliott backs Gordon to handle Origin

By Ian McCullough 05/07/2010 10:55:20 AM Comments (0)

Penrith coach Matthew Elliott has backed his winger Michael Gordon to cope well with the demands of State of Origin when he debuts for NSW against Queensland on Wednesday.

Gordon was a surprise selection for the dead rubber clash at ANZ Stadium - and has never previously played rep football at any level - but Elliott believes the 26-year old, who leads the NRL in points scoring, is a worthy addition.

"Many people think of 'Flash' for his kicking but his general form has been really, really good," Elliott told AAP.

"He is a really great fellow and I am over the moon for him."

With the Blues having already suffered a fifth straight series and trying to avoid a first series whitewash since 1995, Elliott felt Gordon's maturity and positive attitude would only benefit the team.

Gordon moved to Penrith from the Tweed Coast in northern NSW in 2005 to chase his dream of playing in the NRL and his coach is a huge admirer of the determination he has shown to get to the top.

"He is a really great example of someone, who is perhaps less talented than some other players, but with his added maturity he has grown as a player," Elliott said.

"He is very coachable and works very hard on all aspects of his game.

"He listens and learns and I guess because he hasn't played for Australian schoolboys or anything like that he feels the need to work harder and this is a fantastic reward for him."

"I have spoken to him this week and he said he thought he would be really nervous as he is a very quiet guy.

"But he has found the week really easy and is feeling really good about it and I look forward to watching how he goes."

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