NSW centre Michael Jennings says he would’ve accepted his fate had Blues coach Laurie Daley axed him for the State of Origin decider after his recent arrest.
Just days after being heralded a state hero for his match-winning performance that helped NSW level the series in Melbourne, the Roosters star was arrested in a Parramatta carpark and charged with offensive behaviour and hindering police.
He copped a club-imposed one-game ban and $20,000 fine but was a relieved man on Tuesday after being selected by Daley for the all-important clash in Brisbane.
“I’m excited and thankful at the same time,” Jennings said.
“Loz has stayed true so it’s been pretty exciting and it’s good to be back in camp with the boys.
“Obviously with the situation going the way it did, I was going to be happy with whatever decision Loz made.
“(But) I’m in the team now so I’m pretty excited.”
The 27-year-old admitted he thought his representative career was over but after explaining the facts to Daley – he intends to fight the charges at Parramatta Local Court on July 20 – was pleased to have his support.
“Obviously it’s going to go through my head that I may have ruined my opportunity,” he said.
“It’s come close to that but I’m really just grateful and happy just to be selected and I just want to do my bit for the team.
“Loz has a lot of faith in me so there wasn’t much said, just the truth really is all I needed to say. He supported me and I thank him a lot for that.”
Asked whether he would be enjoying an early night in Coffs Harbour, he said: “I don’t think there’s nothing to do in Coffs anyway to go out and get up to mischief.
“I’m confident in my ability and my selection to be able to do a job while I’m here.”