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Bulldogs coach Kevin Moore has urged New South Wales selectors not to rush star centre Jamal Idris this season, despite a stunning burst of recent form that will see him make his representative debut for Country tonight.<br><br>Idris, who will line up alongside veteran centre Timana Tahu in Port Macquarie, is one of half a dozen players in line for a Blues call-up later this month, with injury likely to rule out incumbents Josh Morris, Joel Monaghan and Michael Jennings.<br><br>But while Moore is adamant the hulking teenager would handle the State of Origin cauldron, he says there is no need for selectors to rush the 19-year-old just yet.<br><br>“I’ve got no doubt that he is headed down that path but whether that is this year or next year … you’d probably think that 12 months down the track he would be far more prepared for it,” Moore told<br><br>“Keep in mind, too, that he is only 19. I just think we need to have the big picture in mind when we’re talking about Jamal. <br><br>“We need to keep improving him as a footballer. I don’t think there is any doubt he will head down that path in the near future, but exactly when is up to other people.<br>&nbsp;<br>“It’s not as if we have no centres out there – there is any number of names out there – but if they picked him he wouldn’t let them down.”<br><br>Moore said it was always a big ask for a young player to take the step up to Origin, no matter how physically competent they might be.<br><br>But he predicted a big night out for Idris when he debuts for Country Origin tonight.<br><br>“Oh yeah, he’ll handle it!” Moore enthused. <br><br>“I think those games – you only get a few sessions to prepare for it anyway, so it’s not too much about structure, it’s about showing what you’re capable of and Jamal is capable of plenty. <br><br>“He is the sort of kid where the rise in class won’t worry him. <br><br>“He is a fairly relaxed sort of bloke, so he’ll go out there and have a bit of fun.”<br><br>Certainly Idris has been Canterbury’s most dangerous player this season and the side’s go-to man when something special is needed.<br><br>Last Friday night, when the Bulldogs fell 26-10 to Parramatta, he was easily their standout player after engaging in a titanic battle with Tahu.<br><br>In eight games this year he has averaged 112 metres and leads the Bulldogs for line-breaks with five.<br><br>But Moore said it was Idris’ defence that had formed the cornerstone of his season.<br>“In the last month he has certainly developed,” Moore said. “At the start of the year he was still showing a bit of immaturity. <br><br>“Defensively he was caught out a couple of times. But that’s not just about individuals – that’s a team thing too. <br><br>“He copped some criticism for that but to his credit he has worked hard and the last month or so he has certainly shown that he is a strong defender – it was just about him getting his head around what he needs to do and showing faith in the structures the team has defensively. <br><br>“He has gotten himself to the point now where he is a really solid defender and the rest of his game has fallen into place from that as well.”<br><br><b>Late NRL news:</b><br><br>•&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;Titans halfback Scott Prince is expected to line up against Newcastle tomorrow night despite a mid-week scare following his return from a broken thumb last week;<br>•&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;Manly and St George Illawarra will consider starting representative props Josh Perry and Michael Weyman from the bench when they clash at Brookvale tomorrow night.
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National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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