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Greenwood looking long-term despite head knocks

He's the second Titans player to get in trouble with their mum in the space of a week but back-rower Joe Greenwood insists the head knocks he has suffered in his rookie season haven't deterred him from wanting to forge a long career in the NRL.

‌Under pressure from his mother back in England to start wearing headgear after he was knocked out courtesy of some friendly fire from Ryan James against Souths in Round 15 – "She's on the other side of the world so she can't tell me what to do for now" – it was something of a surprise that Greenwood was able to back up against Wests Tigers last weekend.

He missed two games earlier in the season due to repeated head knocks but doesn't believe he is any more susceptible than other players, shrugging them off as being in "the wrong place at the wrong time".

"I thought I recovered quick. I had no symptoms throughout the week so I told coach that I was fit enough to play," Greenwood revealed.

"The physios and the doctors are really great in handling that situation and they have the last call whether you'll be able to play or not."

It certainly hasn't dissuaded him from making a home for himself at the Titans and in the NRL, the 24-year-old signed until the end of the 2019 season but already thinking about his future beyond his current contract.

"I'd love to stay out here. It's amazing," Greenwood said ahead of the clash with St George Illawarra at Cbus Super Stadium on Friday night.

"The opportunity is just something else that I'd never even dreamed of.

"When I was younger I always dreamed of it as a kid, trying to play out here in the NRL and given the opportunity I've come out here now and hopefully can kick on and play for many years to come at the Titans.

"It's just beautiful. Even outside rugby with the downtime, you can walk on the beach, clear your head and even go out on your own and just zone out.

"It's like paradise for me."

Although he doesn't share the same level of concern as his mother, Greenwood admits that he has become more conscious of how he is feeling physically after a head-knock and is more open to missing a game if necessary.

The two head knocks he received early in the season saw Titans medical staff rest him from a potential Test debut for England in May, a decision that while difficult Greenwood could understand.

"When you're younger you don't really think of the consequences later on in life," Greenwood said.

"Now I realise that you look after your body, look after your health and if you don't feel 100 per cent right and there's something telling you inside that you're not right you need to have a rest.

"You want to impress all the time and you want to keep playing because this is what I love doing but you know yourself and the physios and doctors know the way you're acting on the field when you're training.

"If you just don't feel right your health's more important so you don't want to push it but you don't want to miss out either.

"You feel bad in missing out but sometimes you do have to bite the bullet and say you'll have this week off because your health's more important."

Having established himself on the Titans' left edge and become more accustomed to the speed of the NRL compared to the Super League, the next assignment for Greenwood is to convince England coach Wayne Bennett he deserves a place in the World Cup squad at the end of the year.

Already a member of the 35-man train-on squad that will be whittled down to 24 before the World Cup commences, Greenwood says the key to furthering his cause is for the Titans to finish the season strongly.

"I'm raring to go for the World Cup. Hopefully I get a shout in for that," said Greenwood, who is averaging 64 metres and 24 tackles in his 13 games in the Telstra Premiership to date.

"I've just got to keep my head down and keep doing what I'm doing and hopefully push on and get the call-up for the World Cup.

"It's just consistency. That's a big thing in rugby league and that's what I need to do. Being confident with the wins and the main thing is being consistent.

"You get consistency then it brings a lot out of you in your game.

"I'm just going to keep my head down and keep consistently working for the Titans and hopefully get the shout for the England jersey."


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