High hopes for halfback to lead to finals
Nov
9
2015

RUGBY LEAGUE: Highly-touted Sunshine Coast Falcons recruit Ryley Jacks wants to be the man to turn the club around and make it a force to be reckoned with in 2016.

The former Sydney Roosters under-20 halfback played under newly-appointed coach Craig "Trigger" Ingebrigtsen at Easts Tigers during its grand final appearances in 2013-14.

The pair shared a close relationship during those years and Jacks said a move to the Falcons was a no-brainer when Ingebrigtsen came knocking.

"As soon as he got in contact with me I was pretty keen to be coached by him again," he said.

"He said to me 'we want to change the Falcons into an intimidating roster and treat the Coast with respect.

"I remember the Falcons in 2009 when they won it, then they sort of went away a bit, but I just think it's a good area and it can be a real threat (again).

"When people hear the Sunny Coast turning it around, they will look to who's doing it and maybe that new recruit is the reason."

Jacks is set to meet his team-mates for the first time tonight when the Falcons have their first training session of the preseason.

Ingebrigtsen has already expressed his intention to build the team around the 23-year-old and expects him to be a strong leader on and off the field.

"I chased him hard (because) he's a natural talent, plays the structures that I like and we understand each other," he said.

"He's a real smart player, he thinks well ahead of the play, real Andrew Johns stuff about him. He doesn't panic and he seems to always have time.

"He's a sensational footballer, who is not far off being an NRL player."

Ingebrigtsen made a name for himself at Easts for boasting one of the best defensive sides in the Intrust Super Cup. He wants to bring that (resolute) culture to the Falcons.

"We had our induction last Monday night where I outlined to the boys what we expect of them, the benchmarks, and if they reach those standards we'll be a fair side challenging for top six," he said.

"The biggest thing I want to instil on the boys is to defend tough, get your body in behind and work hard together.

"Attack wins games, defence wins competitions."

Jacks was also lured to the Falcons by the prospects of playing with the affiliated Melbourne Storm and is set to do extra preseason work with the NRL club.

The Storm strengthened its ties to the Coast this year by announcing it would base its under-20s side here.

Jacks is hopeful, those links will lead to an NRL call up.

"They've got me down there after Christmas and hopefully throughout the year will bring me into the (Storm) squad," he said.


Courtesy of Luke Simmonds of Sunshine Coast Daily

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