'Don't rush Idris into Origin': Moore
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 NRL.com.<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> <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>• 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>• 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.