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New South Wales State of Origin player James McManushttp://c1.puntersparadise.net/news/photos/New South Wales State of Origin player James McManus-1404252627_n.jpg

NSW show faith in steady McManus

New South Wales State of Origin player James McManus

James McManus' selection for State of Origin III suggests NSW have initiated an attitude adjustment and are looking to show greater loyalty to players who have served them well in the past.
NSW show faith in steady McManus
by AAP

By Ben Horne

SYDNEY, July 2 AAP - James McManus' selection for State of Origin III suggests NSW have initiated an attitude adjustment and are looking to show greater loyalty to players who have served them well in the past.

By his own admission, McManus hasn't been in great form this year as the Newcastle Knights have struggled at the foot of the NRL ladder.

Despite this being a dead rubber and a chance to look to the future, Blues coach Laurie Daley preferred to give a recall to the steady Scotsman rather than blood an exciting youngster like Josh Mansour or Jorge Taufua to replace the injured Will Hopoate.

Queensland's Origin culture has long been built on showing faith in proven performers, even when they've been struggling in club football.

Once you earn a Maroons jumper, it's difficult to play yourself out.

McManus, still with plenty of years in him at 28, isn't flashy, but hasn't let NSW down in his previous two appearances in sky blue.

Even though he wasn't Daley's first choice this year, the coach hasn't forgotten past deeds.

With an eight-year drought finally broken, the Blues can cease being a merry-go-round of talent and within reason, start to pick and stick.

"James was on the verge of playing Origin in game one but Daniel Tupou and Brett Morris were playing a bit better. His form slipped away a bit but he's been part of our team for a couple of years and he's a professional," said Daley.

"He's a good boy to bring around because you know he's going to prepare well and do the right things."

McManus was one of the best performed wingers in the NRL last year, posting 19 tries.

But in 2014 he's managed to cross for just four on the end of a Knights backline that's battled until the last two weeks.

McManus hasn't been satisfied with his form and is also yet to taste victory in Origin, so appreciates the loyalty shown by Daley.

"I've got to repay that faith," he said.

"It's great to be considered and for Loz to give me the call ... he knows I can do a job.

"It's a high-pressure game and it's hard to bring someone in who hasn't been there before."




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