Michael Jennings (rugby league)
|Jennings while playing for Penrith Panthers in 2012|
20 April 1988 |
Blacktown, New South Wales, Australia
|Height||180 cm (5 ft 11 in)|
|Weight||94 kg (14 st 11 lb)|
|Position||Centre, Wing, Fullback|
|2008–12||Prime Minister's XIII||4||5||0||0||20|
|2009–14||New South Wales||12||3||0||0||12|
|2010–13||NRL All Stars||3||1||0||0||4|
Michael Jennings (born 20 April 1988 in Blacktown, New South Wales) is an Australian professional rugby league footballer for the Sydney Roosters of the National Rugby League. A Tonga and Australia international and New South Wales State of Origin representative three-quarter back, he previously played for the Penrith Panthers before moving to cross-town rivals the Roosters, with whom he won the 2013 NRL Grand Final.
Born in Blacktown, New South Wales, Jennings is of Tongan, Fijian and English descent. He played his junior football for the Western City Tigers (Mt Druitt) and St Mary's Saints before being signed by the Penrith Panthers. Jennings also played for the Australian Schoolboys team in 2005, while attending Blackett Primary School and St. Dominics College.
Professional playing career
In Round 2 of the 2007 NRL season, Jennings made his NRL debut for the Panthers against the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs. He scored a try on debut. At the end of the year, Jennings won the Panthers' Player of the Year award and the Rookie of the Year award as well as being nominated for the Dally M Rookie of the Year.
In 2008, Jennings played for the Prime Minister's XIII team against Papua New Guinea and scored a try on debut. In 2008, Jennings was named in the preliminary 46-man Kangaroos squad and Tonga squad for the 2008 Rugby League World Cup. He played 3 matches for Tonga and scored 3 tries.
In 2009, Jennings was selected for the City Origin team to play Country Origin in the annual City vs Country Origin match. In May 2009, Jennings was selected for New South Wales in Game 1 of the 2009 State of Origin series in Melbourne, Victoria. He missed Game 2 but was again selected in Game 3. At the end of 2009, Jennings travelled to Europe with the Australian team for the 2009 Four Nations tournament. He made his debut for the Kangaroos in the match against France and scored 3 tries on debut as well as receiving the Man of the Match award. Jennings thus became the 4th Kangaroo since Lionel Morgan in 1960, Brad Mackay in 1990 and David Williams in 2008 to score a hattrick on debut for Australia.
On 12 August 2011, Jennings was dropped from the Panthers' NRL team for showing up to training under the influence of alcohol. He was also fined $10,000 earlier in 2011 for drinking and it has been understood that he was on his last chance at the club. His season was marred by numerous injuries, off-field controversies and he only scored 4 tries during the whole year, 1 at State of Origin level, 1 at Club level and 2 whilst playing for the Windsor Wolves in the NSW Cup
In 2011, Jennings again played for New South Wales in Game 1 of the 2011 State of Origin series and City Origin in the 2011 City vs Country Origin match. He was controversially selected for New South Wales after a poor start to the 2011 season but responded with a performance where he scored a try and was rated as one of the best in a beaten Blues team.
In 2012, Jennings played in all 3 matches for New South Wales in the 2012 State of Origin series. For Game 1, Jennings became the first player in 30 years to be selected for New South Wales from reserve-grade after being dropped from the Penrith Panthers first-grade team.
During the 2012 NRL season, rumours constantly surrounded Jennings and his situation at the Penrith Panthers club, with rumours speculating that Jennings was out of favour with Panthers' Coaching Director, Phil Gould and that the club was trying to release Jennings to free up salary cap space. On 15 January 2013, after months of speculation, Jennings signed a 4-year contract with the Sydney Roosters starting in 2013, after being officially released by the Penrith Panthers.
Jennings played in all 3 State of Origin games in 2013, scoring a solo try in game I. After winning the 2013 Telstra Premiership, Jennings was named in The Kangaroos 24 man squad for the 2013 World Cup, along with fellow Rooster, Boyd Cordner. 2013 brought some success to his career, winning the NRL Minor Premiership in a round 26 showdown against South Sydney Rabbitohs, winning the contest 24-12. On the 6th of October 2013, Jennings played in his first NRL grand final, with the Sydney Roosters being victorious over the Manly Sea Eagles, 26-18. Jennings scored to seal the victory with a try from a James Maloney grubber, beating two Manly players with his speed. The following day Jennings was named in the 2013 Kangaroos 24 man World Cup squad.
Before the 2014 NRL season the Roosters hosted the Wigan Warriors for the 2014 World Club Challenge match. Jennings played at centre and became the first player in World Club Challenge history to score three tries as the Australian premiers won 36-14.
- "SportingPulse Homepage for Australian Secondary Schools Rugby League". SportingPulse. Retrieved 2008-10-10.
- Agence France-Presse (2009-11-08). "Penrith Panthers centre Michael Jennings ready to tackle final". foxsports.com.au (Premier Media Group Pty Ltd). Retrieved 2009-11-22.
- PM'S XIII 53-PNG 30
- "Samoa, Tonga and Fiji name squads". BBC. 8 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-09.
- "Michael Jennings – Matches played for Tonga". The Rugby League Project. Retrieved 19 April 2009.
- Liam FitzGibbon (1 August 2008). "Surprises in Kangaroos squad". "Fox Sports News (Australia)". Retrieved 2008-08-02.
- "Veteran Lockyer named in Australian squad". International Herald Tribune. 1 August 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-02.
- Fitzgibbon, Liam (25 May 2009). "NSW selectors go with form and not reputation for Origin opener". Fox Sports News (Australia). Retrieved 30 May 2009.
- 109m try earns Jennings a Blue Jersey
- Jancetic, Steve. "Warriors move into NRL top four".
- Toohey, Barry. "Origin: how the players rated".