Idris v Inglis in Origin preview - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Idris v Inglis in Origin preview

By David Beniuk and Joe Barton 17/03/2011 06:21:09 PM Comments (0)

It was a job Jamal Idris did on Test centre Greg Inglis that first impressed NSW selectors, and new Blues boss Ricky Stuart says a repeat performance won't do his chances any harm in 2011.

Former NSW State of Origin mentor Craig Bellamy pinpointed a game Idris played against his Melbourne side at Gosford in 2009 as one that had stuck in his mind when the Canterbury star was called up for the Blues last year.

The 20-year-old man mountain will form half of one of the match-ups of the year when he marks South Sydney's Inglis at ANZ Stadium on Sunday.

Stuart is a long way from contemplating the make-up of the side that will take to Suncorp Stadium on May 25 hoping to finally end the Blues' five-series losing streak.

But he will be a keen spectator when Idris shows his wares this weekend.

"He had a great game at right centre against (Wests Tigers centre) Chris Lawrence and I believe that another good game against a person of the calibre of Greg Inglis is only going to help him," Stuart told AAP.

"That's the beauty of our competition, you're playing against quality people every week.

"The more consistent you are, the more you stand up, the more you're showing that you're capable of playing representative football."

Idris also handed out some brutal treatment to then Parramatta centre Timana Tahu in a match in April last year, and former Blues and Bulldogs great Terry Lamb said he had to be in Stuart's side.

"He would've been in awe of being in the Blues last year but the way he played on the weekend has been fantastic," Lamb said.

"His aggression was great and I think that's what we need, and his size is important as well."

Canterbury coach Kevin Moore said the giant three-quarter would relish the prospect of physically intimidating one of the game's big guns.

"I think it's something he does look forward to," Moore said.

"He's the sort of guy, Jamal, who loves that sort of challenge.

"He's been a high achiever all the way through ... so I think he's the sort of bloke who loves that big occasion."

Moore said the 194cm, 115kg star had hardened up his massive frame for the 2011 season.

"He hasn't had his 21st yet so I think he's just naturally lost a little bit of body fat," Moore said.

"He's put the hard work in ... that often takes young people two or three years to get used to the rigours of week-in week-out training.

"He's certainly looking a lot trimmer and he's a little bit sharper off the mark."

Off-contract at the end of 2011, Idris is being pursued by Newcastle and Gold Coast but Moore said sorting out his future would not be a distraction.

"The focus for him and something he and I have agreed on is that we're just going to keep our heads down, worry about footy and other parties will handle the off-field stuff for him," the coach said.

"We want Jamal here and we're very pleased with the way he's going at the moment and we're confident that we'll keep him."

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