Sport

Kennedy will get his chance for Maroons in near future

Roosters' prop Martin Kennedy is a rugby league favourite in Ipswich.
Roosters' prop Martin Kennedy is a rugby league favourite in Ipswich. Ian Hitchcock / Getty Images

FORMER Ipswich Colts forward Martin Kennedy has received plenty of moral support from his former club after just missing out on selection for Queensland in the opening State of Origin clash.

Jets chairman Steve Johnson said the Roosters' prop and former Ipswich Grammar School student was made for Origin and would wear the Maroon jersey in the near future.

Kennedy was talked up in some sections of the media as a certainty to make his debut in next week's Origin clash but Johnson said the 24-year-old should not despair.

"He is the style of front-rower that is so suited to Origin," Johnson said.

"Marty is only young and his time will come. When it does come, he'll be ready for it.

"He is entitled to be disappointed because he has worked hard and reached the stage in his own mind where he believes he is ready.

"But he doesn't pick the side. Other people do. If he keeps doing what he is now and working hard he will get his chance. There is no doubt about that.

"He is also a very impressive person. When there were difficulties at the Roosters with (former coach) Brian Smith, he was a very steadying influence on the leadership group and showed maturity beyond his years."

Kennedy played for Norths Tigers as a junior and the Ipswich Colts in 2006.

Ipswich league stalwart Brad Wolens had a big influence on Kennedy when he was at Norths.

"Martin came through at Norths Tigers and it was there that he came under notice," Johnson said.

"He was drafted into the Ipswich Colts in 2006, so his first senior game was with the Jets.

"Martin always had a great attitude and he was determined to give his best on every occasion. That is the trait that has led him to where he is today.

"He has always put in that hard work and extra effort that you need in rugby league to succeed."

Johnson said Kennedy was much admired in Ipswich because he had always given credit to those who helped him in his rugby league development.

"He's never forgotten where it all started for him," Johnson said.

"He wasn't born in Ipswich but his father Brian and his mum came to Ipswich when he was young.

"Brad Wolens coached him and he's always acknowledged the good grounding he got in Ipswich where he learned the value of discipline and hard work."

Topics:  maroons martin kennedy state of origin steve johnson



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