Axed Kangaroo Jackson happy at Country
Unhappy with his inconsistent form for the Bulldogs, Country Origin lock Josh Jackson said he never expected to be recalled to Tim Sheens's Kangaroos squad for Friday night's Test against New Zealand.
A member of the Australian team who lost 22-18 to the Kiwis in the Four Nations final last November, Jackson is happy to throw on the Country jumper for the third time this weekend after missing selection for the Test side.
"I guess I'm a little bit disappointed [to miss out on the Australian side] but there was no expectation there though either. There are obviously a lot of quality players running around so I'm just very privileged to be a part of this team as is," Jackson told NRL.com.
"There were a lot of players missing out through injury at the Four Nations so that's probably where my lack of expectation came from too. I realised that early on but it was great to get the opportunity. [My form] could be better too, mate. I've been pretty inconsistent personally.
"You have to play some pretty good footy to be picked and every one of those guys [who were picked for Australia] are playing good footy at the moment so they get their opportunity there which is good for them and I think they'll do well."
Not the only one to drop out of the Test team following the Four Nations final, Jackson expects Bulldogs teammate and 2014 Kangaroo David Klemmer to explode for City against Country on Sunday.
Jackson says he's expecting fireworks from the 21-year-old Klemmer, who has served a three-match suspension since the Dogs' controversial loss against South Sydney in Round 5.
"[David's] always fired up but he'll be especially ready to go this time. He's a really good chance of playing Origin and I thought he was very unlucky to miss out for Australia," Jackson said.
"He's a great player and I expect him to step up for the City boys. He's a very competitive fella and very keen so he'll go well for them. I'm sure he's been through a steep learning curve over the past few weeks because nobody likes missing out on footy."
While Klemmer's return is a blessing and a curse for Jackson in terms of Sunday's game, Jackson can only see the positives of reuniting with his former Bulldogs teammate and roommate Dale Finucane in the Country team despite making some light-hearted jabs at the Storm forward.
"I can't shake him, mate. I just can't seem to get rid of him," Jackson laughed.
"Nah, it's all good. He's doing really well in Melbourne and it's good to see him here again. He deserves it. He's working hard and does all the little things on field which people don't notice so it's good to see he's been rewarded for it.
"Now we don't play with one another every week it's obviously a good opportunity to get back with Dale and play with him again which we won't take for granted."