Incumbent NSW centre Michael Jennings has urged coach Laurie Daley to pick him only based on current form rather than past performances in the sky blue jumper.
The Roosters three-quarter has typically grown an extra leg whenever staring down the Cane Toads in his 10 previous appearances for the Blues, but said his previous efforts should count for nought as he prepares to return from an ankle injury that ruled him out of last weekend’s City-Country Origin trial.
“You want to pick on form,” said Jennings, who returns for the Roosters this Friday night against the Tigers.
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“I don’t want to be picked on past performances, I want to be picked on my form … so especially with Origin two weeks away, these [next two] games will be important for myself. I want to be playing my best footy anyway coming up into Origin."
Jennings finds himself locked in a logjam of potential outside backs for the Blues, with fellow incumbents Josh Morris, Jarryd Hayne and Josh Dugan all pushing for retention in the NSW backline amongst a host of wing candidates.
The premiership winner said that much like the rest of the rugby league world, he’d received no indication from Laurie Daley as to where he stands in the representative pecking order.GET YOUR TICKET TO STATE OF ORIGIN I
“There’s Josh Morris and Haynesy’s in the mix there,” Jennings said.
“[Hayne] played centre in the Australian team last year and he’s a quality player, so if he gets picked there, he gets picked there.
“But I’ve played there before and if I play these next two games and play well, I’d like to see myself in that position.”
Jennings confirmed he was “100 per cent” right for his side’s Foundation Cup clash with the high-flying Tigers, and the Roosters will also be boosted by confirmation game-breaking second rower Sonny-Bill Williams will play despite losing 6kg last week after a bout of tonsillitis.
Club vice-captain Boyd Cordner said Williams was unlikely to be phased by the illness he contracted while in Bali holidaying over the rep round break.
“He’ll be sweet,” Cordner said.
“He’s played with injuries and illnesses before, so he’s great like that. He’ll get his body right and even if he’s not at 100 per cent he’ll give 100 per cent effort anyway.”