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Jennings to make most of World Cup shot

Michael Jennings says he won't let a hotly-contested Kangaroos selection battle distract him from making the most of a long-awaited return for Australia.
Jennings to make most of World Cup shot
by AAP

By Liam FitzGibbon

LONDON, Oct 30 AAP - Michael Jennings says he won't let a hotly-contested Kangaroos selection battle distract him from making the most of a long-awaited return for Australia.

Jennings is set for just his second appearance in the green and gold, and first since 2009, after being named to play in Australia's Rugby League World Cup clash with Fiji in St Helens on Saturday.

The Sydney Roosters star was overlooked for veteran Brent Tate in Australia's tournament-opening win over England but the right centre position remains one of the most contentious in Tim Sheens' side.

Canterbury's Josh Morris will also get a chance to impress against Fiji, as will winger Jarryd Hayne who is also a consideration in a four-way battle to partner Greg Inglis in the centres later in the tournament.

Jennings would love to give himself a shot at starting in the big games down the track but says he won't be thinking about trying to outdo his teammates.

"Obviously that spot is still up for grabs," Jennings told AAP.

"But I think the focus for me is just on myself and trying to make sure I'm playing like I have been for the whole season.

"If I focus on what I've been doing best and get that right then hopefully I get that opportunity to take that spot."

Jennings' omission from game one came as a surprise to some, given his spectacular finish to the season which featured an incredible try in the Roosters' NRL grand final win.

But the speedy centre, who has turned his career around after switching from Penrith last year, said he was happy to play whatever role in the squad Sheens saw fit.

Jennings' sole previous appearance for Australia came four years ago against France in Paris, where he scored a hat-trick on debut.

If not for inconsistency and some off-field issues during his time with the Panthers, the supremely-talented Jennings may have racked up more than one cap but he has no regrets.

"I'm just grateful that I'm here at the moment," Jennings said. "I'm blessed that I'm getting this opportunity again.

"It's been a great year with the grand final win and playing State of Origin and I don't want to take this for granted."


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