Back-rower Josh Jackson has emerged as a medium-term replacement for injured Bulldogs centre Josh Morris at the NRL competition leaders.
Josh Jackson has emerged as an unlikely replacement for Canterbury centre Josh Morris.
But the in-form back-rower isn’t fazed by the challenge of filling the shoes of one of the NRL’s leading players.
Morris has been sidelined indefinitely with a knee injury suffered for NSW in State of Origin I, and Chase Stanley is out for at least a month with a knee complaint suffered in last week’s loss to Manly.
As a result Jackson has become a Mr Fix It at centre in Bulldogs coach Des Hasler’s reshuffled backline for Sunday’s clash with resurgent Parramatta, with Krisnan Inu staying on the wing.
Jackson has been a key figure in the Dogs’ rise to the top of the NRL ladder, and was duly rewarded with selection as an emergency reserve for NSW for Origin I.
But playing at right centre comes as something of a new challenge.
“I have played there before, a bit in juniors, but not too much in first grade, just the times I have had to fill-in so it will be something different,” Jackson said at training on Wednesday.
“Josh (Morris) has been around helping me out a bit and just said play your own game and I will be doing pretty similar things to before.
“I play on that side anyway it will just be a change in where I stand in defence.
“I will have the same mentality as always, I just have to run the ball hard and make the tackles and if things like that (breaking the line) happen, they happen.
“There are a lot of other players in our team that can break a game open.”
Jackson said he had taken plenty out of his time in camp with NSW, ahead of a likely match-up against Queensland veteran Willie Tonga on Sunday at ANZ Stadium.
“Just feeding off those boys’ energy and mentality in camp was great,” Jackson said.
“It was a good experience and now I know what you have to take into a game like that.
“If Willie does play it will be a good challenge for me with Semi Radradra out on that side too.”