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Proteges poised to haunt master
By Dean Ritchie From: The Daily Telegraph Wed Oct 14 00:00:00 EST 2009 Wed Oct 14
THEY were all head-hunted by Tim Sheens. One a Kiwi from Keebra Park, another from grim Yorkshire town Castleford, the third from Coffs Harbour on the NSW north coast.
Little did Sheens know that years later each one could haunt his hopes of success in his first overseas assignment as Australian coach.
Sheens was the man who lured Benji Marshall, Gareth Ellis and Clint Greenshields to the Tigers.
Now Marshall is New Zealand captain for the Four Nations tournament, Ellis is England’s gun forward, while Greenshields has qualified for France under the residency rule.
Marshall and Ellis are still Tigers. After playing for Western Suburbs, the Wests Tigers feeder club, Greenshields was signed by the Dragons and now plays with Super League club Catalans.
Each one has the potential to derail the Kangaroos campaign.
“Benji will be a key man. He will be their captain and pivot,” Sheens said yesterday.
"I thought Benji got stronger as the year wore on. His confidence certainly grew.
“Benji will certainly be a better player than he was for the Anzac Test against Australia.”
Asked if Marshall’s best football was ahead of him, Sheens said: "I think so. Most players at his age (24) get better, particularly Benji given that he hasn’t played a lot of games.
"He has had a lot of disruptions.
“Benji will be an indicator for New Zealand. He likes to touch the ball a lot of the time.”
Ellis was strong for the Tigers this year and was crowned the club’s player of the year.
Most were impressed with his level of consistency, which was high for an English player.
“He will go back home aware of what happens in the NRL and what the players are like,” Sheens said.
"Gareth will be a better player for his stint here.
"We certainly knew how good he was but we were a bit surprised at how quickly he hit the ground running. He was putting in 80-minute efforts with strong defence. That was a bonus.
“Gareth brought a strong work ethic to the team.”
Leeds played Ellis on the right edge before he was switched to the left side by Sheens.
It is still unknown which side he will play under the English coach, Tony Smith.
“Gareth’s edge will be tighter,” Sheens said. “I thought England’s defence was scrappy last year in the World Cup. He can play both sides, which is a bonus for England.”
Greenshields will be a key player for France, although the French team aren’t expected to make a ripple in the tournament.
“I brought Clint down. He had a lot of shoulder troubles,” Sheens said. "Clint can play on his day.
“He is a very good support player and is also good under the high ball.”
The title of that article makes no sense. How are they going to haunt Sheens? it’s not like he had a chance to select them for Australia and didn’t. And let me get this straight … Dean Richie thinks Clint Greenshields could possibly derail Australia’s chances? Ha ha ha ha ha !
These journos are really struggling to find something interesting to write about.
Juro last edited by
So was Ellis rubbish before coming to the Wests Tigers? Does he have Sheens to thank for giving him a chance when nobody else would?
Nothing article. Australia will smash France by at least 20. The Poms will be much improved from the WC, and the kiwis will be able to knock us off if we’re not careful, but if the Australian side clicks they’ll win the whole thing.