NSW captain Paul Gallen has thrown his support behind Michael Jennings for State of Origin III, saying the centre’s off-field drama is for the Roosters to deal with and not the Blues.
The Origin II man of the match was charged with offensive behaviour on Saturday after allegedly approaching police aggressively in Parramatta.
He was stood down for the Roosters’ NRL win over St George Illawarra on Monday night and fined $20,000 – $10,000 of which was suspended.
But Blues coach Laurie Daley guaranteed him a spot in the Origin decider on July 8.
Gallen is also standing behind Jennings’ Origin goals, saying the issue was one for the Roosters to deal with.
The alleged transgression was “not the crime of the century” and Jennings’ career would likely recover, the Blues captain said.
“He left the (NSW) camp. He did everything well in camp and he was back preparing for a Roosters game (when the incident occurred),” Gallen told Sky Sports Radio on Tuesday.
“I’ve spoken to Jenko (Jennings) and I said to him myself it’s probably a mistake being out three days before a game and I think he understands that.
“It will just be a small blip on the radar and he’ll be fine.”
Jennings has pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Daley said he was disappointed the 27-year-old had been drinking three days out from a Roosters match but believes his claims that he did “nothing wrong” during the night out.
Meanwhile, Gallen said he’s hoping to be ready in time for Cronulla’s match against North Queensland at the weekend as he recovers from rib cartilage damage suffered in Origin II.
“It’s a day to day thing at the moment. I’ve still got four days until we have to travel up there so I’ll see how I go,” he said.