Just weeks after being declared an Origin I certainty by NSW coach Ricky Stuart, Penrith centre Michael Jennings has been banished to the NSW Cup.
After instruction strongly on Tuesday to dismiss any lingering issues more than a shoulder injury, Jennings was dumped by Panthers coach Ivan Cleary – who’d obviously had sufficient immediately after five straight losses.
“He trained really properly this morning. There is definitely no injury issues,” a Panthers official told AAP on Tuesday.
Jennings was taken off early in the second half of Saturday night’s heavy loss to Melbourne – Storm coach Craig Bellamy producing no secret of the reality he had directed loads of targeted traffic at the susceptible centre.
He was also the centre of an alleged dressing down from the club following reports he broke group rules by consuming although part of the team’s rehabilitation group on Anzac Day.
Penrith common manager Phil Gould on Tuesday evening commended Cleary’s determination to drop his star back.
“Coaching employees were unhappy with his contribution in the final couple of video games,” Gould mentioned on Triple M’s Rush Hour system.
“The coaches are attempting to send a message that the pay packet and reputation implies practically nothing. This is a kind-based mostly factor.
“I applaud the coaching workers for being difficult on somebody with a reputation like Michael.”
Jennings will now travel to Auckland to play for Windsor against the Vulcans on Saturday afternoon – just over 24 hours ahead of Stuart is due to title his side for the Origin opener on Could 23.
It would seem unlikely Stuart will drag a player out of park football to face the all-conquering Queensland outfit – leaving the Blues to search for nevertheless one more centre pairing.
Brad Tighe will consider Jennings’ place in the centres for Monday’s residence game against St George Illawarra, although halfback Travis Burns has been cleared to play regardless of rolling his ankle at coaching on Tuesday.
Elsewhere, Chris Sandow was reinstated to the Parramatta No.7 jumper with fellow recruit Ben Roberts the newest fall man for the Eels’ disastrous campaign.
Roberts will also perform in the NSW Cup on the weekend, with Casey McGuire to spouse Sandow in the halves against Canberra on Sunday.
Cheyse Blair comes in for the injured Willie Tonga in the centres, whilst Matthew Ryan will line up at lock after Reni Maitua accepted a a single-week ban for a substantial tackle.
William Zillman returns for Gold Coast against Canterbury on Friday night, but he will do so at fullback with coach John Cartwright persisting with youngsters Aidan Sezer and Jordan Rankin in the halves.
Alehana Mara replaces Nathan Buddy as Warriors hooker against Sydney Roosters on Saturday, the latter ruled out for 6 weeks right after breaking his jaw against Brisbane.
Ben Hunt comes into the Brisbane starting side for Friday night’s blockbuster against Manly at Suncorp Stadium to substitute the injured Peter Wallace, his elevation opening the door for Luke Capewell top rated make his Broncos debut off the bench.