Origin axing was a wake-up call: Jennings

Sep 14, 2017 - 2:18 AM The sting of being dropped from the NSW State of Origin team was just the wake-up call Parramatta centre Michael Jennings needed.

And now the Eels have reaped the rewards as Jennings hit his best form and helped propel them into the NRL's top four.

Always one of the most prodigiously talented outside backs in the NRL Jennings admitted this week he had at times become complacent and relied too much on his natural talent during his 11-year career.

However since being dropped by Blues coach Laurie Daley at the start of this year's series, 29-year-old Jennings realised something had to change if he was to fulfil his full potential.

"Sometimes you can get really complacent and really cruisy and be happy with where you're at," Jennings told AAP.

"I looked at it and realised I can't be happy with that.

"There is more that has to be done. I'm not getting any younger, so something has to change ... Not making Origin was a big factor in that."

Jennings last won a premiership with the Sydney Roosters in 2013, and claims the vibe around the Eels in the past month has been similar to what he felt at the Tri-colours.

But he admitted much has changed at an individual level.

After moving to Parramatta at the start of last year, coach Brad Arthur sat down with Jennings over the summer and demanded more from the former Kangaroos centre.

And the message has finally got through.

For the first time in his career Jennings is committed to staying after training and completing the extras to help with his speed and skill.

The result: Jennings is now only second to Semi Radradra for tackle busts at Parramatta while his efforts on the right edge have put him back in what he considers to be near career-best form.

"We had an honest chat on what was needed for this year. I think that has helped a lot too," Jennings said.

"During the last couple of months after training I've been working on a bit of extra stuff with speed and running, just trying to keep fit.

"Because these young fellas, you've just got to keep up with them.

"I wouldn't have done that in the past."

Source: AAP

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