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McManus rewarded with NSW Origin call-up

James McManus

He's not the flashiest, nor the fastest - but according to the statistics James McManus is the NRL's most effective winger.
McManus rewarded with NSW Origin call-up
by AAP

By Steve Jancetic and Ed Jackson

SYDNEY, July 7 AAP - He's not the flashiest, nor the fastest - but according to the statistics James McManus is the NRL's most effective winger.

And now the Newcastle flyer is one failed Jarryd Hayne fitness session away from a second NSW Origin jumper.

McManus was on Sunday named as cover for Hayne - who is battling a hamstring injury - for the State of Origin decider next Wednesday, a call-up which completed a remarkable return to an arena he graced for the one and only time in 2009.

The 27-year-old was seemingly off the Origin radar just a few weeks ago, but four tries last week against Gold Coast - combined with a nightmare Origin debut for Nathan Merritt in game two - brought the Scotsman back into the reckoning.

NSW coach Laurie Daley claimed McManus was always in his thoughts, claiming the Contribution Value Rating (CVR) - a system used to determine a player's effectiveness in games - had only added to his selection push.

"James is in good form, he's been there before," Daley said of the NRL's leading tryscorer just after McManus had added another in Sunday's win over Canterbury to take his tally to 15.

"When we looked at the CVR, he's the best in terms in what he brings to the table for all wingers in the competition.

"He's playing well and he adds a bit of size out wide. if anything happens to Jarryd, James will come in."

While his form is red-hot, it is his extra size on Merritt that appears to have won him the nod.

Knights coach Wayne Bennett struggled to hide his delight, having called for his selection after last week's demolition of the Titans.

"Don't tell me they (NSW selectors) read the paper," Bennett joked.

"I just said in the changerooms that you like to see your players get picked in the rep teams because it means so much to them.

"But I don't think there's one guy in that room that's not really happy for him because everyone knows just how dedicated his is and how committed he has been and how good he plays every week

"Everyone's really elated or him.

"It means a lot to us all for his selection because of the bloke that he is and what he brings to us."

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