Jamal Idris is an unabashed member of the Jennings brothers fan club and expects the Penrith dynamos to put pressure on him and his backline teammates throughout the 2015 NRL season.
Idris made a successful return from back surgery in the side’s 30-22 trial loss to Parramatta at Pepper Stadium in Penrith on Saturday afternoon.
While Idris’s comeback, just more than three weeks after going under the knife, was a positive sidenote for Ivan Cleary’s men, the performances of George and Robert Jennings emerged as the good news story of the match.
Captain Peter Wallace has already declared he expects the pair to make their NRL debuts this year and branded them the pre-season standouts of the squad.
George, 21, looks to have the inside running for the wing position made vacant by Josh Mansour, who is recovering from a shoulder injury and is due back in round 4.
He scored two tries against the Eels on Saturday night and at times looked almost identical to his older brother, Sydney Roosters and NSW flyer Michael.
While Robert, 19, scored a memorable try when the fleet-of-foot winger touched down with a one-hand put-down in the corner just minutes after coming on in the second half.
“(George) is strong isn’t he? People underestimate his strength. He’s outstanding,” Idris said.
“I’m a big fan of both the Jennings boys. They’re good players.
“They have this weird strength about them. They get in contact and these blokes that are bigger than them are being shrugged off.”
Idris, at 24, is no withering veteran whose best is far behind him, yet he admits to looking over his shoulder at the young talent coming through the grades.
He said he came out of his playing return feeling good and was raring to go for round 1 after pushing himself in his recovery.
He said he would be right for their season opener against the Bulldogs in a fortnight and was anxious to get back out on the field.
“I’m pretty stubborn and I started running as soon as possible,” he said.
“Then I started getting moving again and I slowly worked my way into training.
“I don’t like sitting on the sideline while the boys are doing ball work and fitness so I said ‘bugger it, get me out there’.”