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Sheens encourages lesser-used RLWC players

Kangaroos coach Tim Sheens has challenged his overlooked World Cup stars to turn disappointment into determination.
Sheens encourages lesser-used RLWC players
by AAP

By Liam FitzGibbon

MANCHESTER, England, Nov 29 AAP - Kangaroos coach Tim Sheens has challenged his overlooked World Cup stars to turn disappointment into determination.

While Sheens fully rotated his squad throughout the tournament there were inevitably several players who played minor roles, with Sydney Roosters star Michael Jennings the only squad member to feature in just one match.

Josh Morris and Boyd Cordner played in two of Australia's five matches and, along with Jennings, were left out of the 19-man squad for Saturday's final against New Zealand.

Sheens cited the example of Daly Cherry-Evans, who sat on the bench for an entire 80 minutes in a Test against the Kiwis last year, as evidence players could use their experience as motivation for the future.

Cherry-Evans has forced his way into Sheens' best 17 at the World Cup and will likely come off the bench in the final at Old Trafford.

"It's very disappointing for them," Sheens said of his lesser-used players.

"But it's difficult and I'm not the first Australian coach to have disappointed class players players on the bench in a tour.

"Everyone contributed, some less than others obviously, but they're young and they've got their time. They've got to keep their heads down.

"They can be disappointed at me or disappointed at whatever but it's about what you do about it.

"Ask (Cherry-Evans), after that Test match."

Queensland veteran Nate Myles and hooker Robbie Farah are other players who haven't been able to crack into Sheens' first-choice finals team, though Myles is named in the extended squad for the final.

Jennings, 25, was outstanding in the Roosters' run to the NRL premiership and Sheens admits the speedster suffered from a decision to shift Jarryd Hayne into the centres.

"Technically the two players who were in front of him (Josh Morris and Brent Tate), to a degree had a lot more experience," Sheens said.

"That's not to say Jenno hasn't had a great season, he has, and I've spoken to him about it.

"But the situation was it probably didn't help him too much when I pushed Jarryd into the centres."


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