Michael Jennings (rugby league)
20 April 1988 |
Blacktown, New South Wales, Australia
|Height||180 cm (5 ft 11 in)|
|Weight||94 kg (14 st 11 lb)|
|2008–12||Prime Minister's XIII||4||5||0||0||20|
|2009–15||New South Wales||14||4||0||0||16|
|2010–13||NRL All Stars||4||1||0||0||4|
Michael Jennings (born 20 April 1988) is an Australian professional rugby league footballer who currently plays for the Sydney Roosters of the National Rugby League. A Tongan and Australian international and New South Wales State of Origin representative Centre, Jennings previously played for the Penrith Panthers before moving to cross-town rivals the Roosters, with whom he won the 2013 NRL Grand Final.
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 played for the Australian Schoolboys team in 2005. Jennings attended Blackett Primary School and St Dominic's College.
In Round 2 of the 2007 NRL season, Jennings made his NRL debut for the Penrith Panthers against the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs on the wing, scoring a try on debut in the Panthers 40-10 victory at Penrith Stadium. In Round 23 against the Newcastle Knights, Jennings scored a hatrick in the Panthers 46-12 win at Hunter Stadium. At the end of the year, Jennings was the Panthers highest tryscorer with 15 tries in 23 matches. 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 October 2007, Jennings played for the Junior Kangaroos.
Jennings played in 23 matches and scored 12 tries for the Panthers in the 2008 NRL season. Jennings played for the Prime Minister's XIII team against Papua New Guinea and scored a try on debut. Jennings was named in the preliminary 46-man Australian and Tongan squads for the 2008 World Cup. Jennings was included in the final Tongan squad for the tournament and played in 3 matches, scoring 3 tries.
On 8 May 2009, Jennings was selected for the New South Wales City team to play New South Wales Country, scoring a try in the 40-18 win in Orange. In May 2009, Jennings was selected for New South Wales in Game 1 of the 2009 State of Origin series in Melbourne, Victoria. Jennings missed Game 2 but was again selected in Game 3 in the Blues 28-16 win at Suncorp Stadium. Jennings played in 19 matches and was the Panthers highest tryscorer with 17 tries, including 3 hatricks. In September 2009, Jennings was selected in the Prime Minister’s XIII squad, scoring a hatrick in the 42-18 win against Papua New Guinea in Port Moresby.
In October and November 2009, Jennings travelled to Europe with the Australian team for the 2009 Four Nations. Jennings 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 in the 42-4 win. Jennings became the 4th Kangaroo since Lionel Morgan in 1960, Brad Mackay in 1990 and David Williams in 2008 to score a hatrick on debut for Australia.
In 13 February 2010, Jennings was selected for the inaugural NRL All Stars team against the Indigenous All Stars at Cbus Super Stadium. Jennings played at centre and scored a try in the NRL All Stars 16-12 win. On 7 May 2010, Jennings played for NSW City Origin against NSW Country Origin at centre in the 36-18 loss. Jennings again played for New South Wales in Game 3 of the 2010 State of Origin series in the Blues 23-18 loss at ANZ Stadium. Jennings played in 25 matches and 16 tries for the Panthers in the 2010 NRL season.
On 13 February 2011, Jennings was chosen to play for the NRL All Stars at centre in the 28-12 win over the Indigenous All Stars at Cbus Super Stadium. On 6 May 2011, Jennings played for City Origin against Country Origin at centre in the 18-12 loss. On 12 August 2011, Jennings was dropped from the Panthers NRL team for showing up to training under the influence of alcohol. Jennings was also fined $10,000 earlier in 2011 for drinking and it had been understood that he was on his last chance at the club. Jennings 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 controversially selected 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 16-12 beaten Blues team at Suncorp Stadium. In Round 13 against the Gold Coast Titans, Jennings played his 100th NRL career match for the Panthers in the 23-10 win at Cbus Super Stadium. Jennings played in 15 matches and scored a try for the Panthers in an out of sorts year for Jennings in the 2011 NRL season. In 19 September 2011, Jennings was selected in the Prime Minister's XIII squad.
On 6 February 2012, Jennings was chosen to play for the NRL All Stars team at centre in the 28-12 win over the Indigenous All Stars at Cbus Super Stadium. 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 club, with rumours speculating that Jennings was out of favour with the Panthers Coaching Director, Phil Gould and that the club was trying to release Jennings to free up salary cap space. Jennings played in 17 matches and scored 10 tries for the Panthers in what was to be his last year with the club. On 23 September 2012, Jennings played for Prime Minister's XIII in the 24-18 win over Papua New Guinea in Port Moresby.
In 21 April 2013, Jennings played for NSW City Origin in the 18-12 defeat to NSW Country Origin at Coffs Harbour. Jennings played in all 3 State of Origin games in 2013, scoring a solo try in Game 1 in the 14-6 win at ANZ Stadium. On 6 October 2013, Jennings played in the 2013 NRL Grand Final at centre with the Sydney Roosters being victorious over the Manly-Warringah 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. Jennings was the Roosters highest tryscorer with 20 tries in 26 matches in an excellent year for Jennings in the 2013 NRL season. After winning the Premiership, Jennings was named in the Australia Kangaroos 24-man squad for the 2013 World Cup, playing in a match against Fiji and scoring a try in the 34-2 win.
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 at SFS. Jennings scored the first try in the 2014 NRL season in the Roosters 28-8 loss to the South Sydney Rabbitohs at ANZ Stadium. In Round 2 against the Parramatta Eels, Jennings played his 150th NRL career match in the Roosters 56-4 smashing win at SFS. Jennings was selected for a centre position for New South Wales in Game 1 of the 2014 State of Origin series in the 100th State of Origin Match in the 12-8 win at Suncorp Stadium. Jennings was selected at centre for New South Wales in Game 2 of the series in the 6-4 win, resulting the Blues breaking their 8-year losing streak to Queensland. In Round 23, against the Wests Tigers at Leichhardt Oval, Jennings scored his 100th NRL career try in a 48-4 win. Jennings finished off the Roosters 2014 NRL season with him playing in 21 matches and scoring 13 tries. On 14 October 2014, Jennings was selected in the Australia Kangaroos 24-man 2014 Four Nations squad. Jennings played at centre for Australia, scoring the opening try in the 22-18 loss to New Zealand at Westpac Stadium.
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