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Moore backs Idris' replacement Lafai

15/06/2011 03:10:36 PM Comments (0)

Canterbury coach Kevin Moore has hailed young centre Tim Lafai as a future NRL star while describing his decision to dump drawcard Jamal Idris for Sunday's clash with Cronulla as a no-brainer.

Idris, who will join Gold Coast at the start of next season on a lucrative five-year contract, was dropped a day after failing to front for training on Monday.

Moore had given his players four days off as they enjoyed the bye and Idris travelled to the Gold Coast during the break but didn't return in time to rejoin his team-mates.

Speaking on Wednesday, Moore said Idris' replacement, fellow 20-year-old Lafai, was a star in the making for the Belmore-based side.

"He's (Lafai) a good young kid, he came in for Josh Morris for four or five games early in the year and I think he scored a try and got Man of the Match or Players Player on debut," Moore said.

"He's a big part of the future of the club obviously with Jamal leaving next year.

"Timmy is a bloke who we've got earmarked to play a lot of first grade down the track and I've got no doubt he'll do the club proud."

Moore said it had been an easy decision to drop Idris, who made his Kangaroos debut in the ANZAC Test in May.

"It wasn't really a tough call at all, the standards that we try to set at the club are critical to what you do week in week out and Jamal overstepped the mark, he missed training on Monday and he's going to pay the price for it," he said.

"It's a team sport, everyone's got to abide by the rules and Jamal didn't and we've had to keep him out of the team for this weekend.

"We had 27 other blokes turn up here on Monday morning in pretty ordinary conditions after a break with the bye and they all ripped into a very difficult session and Jamal wasn't here.

"In team sport, even in junior league, if you don't turn up to training you don't play. It's a simple as that."

The Bulldogs sit in eighth spot on the NRL ladder after an indifferent start to the season.

Moore has copped criticism for his side's inconsistent performances after the club shelled out big money for the likes of Frank Pritchard, Aiden Tolman, Kris Keating and Trent Hodkinson in the off-season to bolster an already-powerful squad.

Despite speculation that his coaching career could be on the line, Moore said at no point had he been tempted to let Idris take the field against Cronulla.

"You can't worry about external stuff, you've got your standards and you've got to stick to them and that's pretty much what I've done this week," Moore said.

Moore said his side would also be buoyed by the return from injury of forwards Aidan Tollman and Greg Eastwood, both who have been named in the side for the Sharks clash.

"They trained pretty good today but we'll see how they pull up tomorrow and hopefully they're back on deck on Sunday."

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